January 2, 2016
Memorial of Saints Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops and Doctors of the Church
The Gospel Today
This is the testimony of John.
When the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to him
to ask him, “Who are you?”
He admitted and did not deny it, but admitted,
“I am not the Christ.”
So they asked him,
“What are you then? Are you Elijah?”
And he said, “I am not.”
“Are you the Prophet?”
He answered, “No.”
So they said to him,
“Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us?
What do you have to say for yourself?”
“I am the voice of one crying out in the desert,
‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’
as Isaiah the prophet said.”
Some Pharisees were also sent.
They asked him,
“Why then do you baptize
if you are not the Christ or Elijah or the Prophet?”
John answered them,
“I baptize with water;
but there is one among you whom you do not recognize,
the one who is coming after me,
whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.”
This happened in Bethany across the Jordan,
where John was baptizing.
REFLECTION (Sem. Randy D. Buquis)
The Gospel today shows how John the Baptist knows who he is and what his mission is. There are two things that we can imitate from John the Baptist. First his being honest and sense of mission.
John the Baptist is honest and true to himself because he never claims to be what he is not. He is able to tell the truth about himself. He makes it clear to the priests and Levites that he is not the Messiah, Elijah, or the Prophet. He says that he is only the voice of one crying out in the desert. He is not even worthy to untie the sandal straps of the one coming after him. John the Baptist makes an honest presentation of himself.
Second, his sense of mission can be seen by being an instrument of preparing the way of the Lord. His mission is to turn the hearts of people to the coming of the Messiah. He prepares the way of the Lord.
These two characteristics of St John the Baptist are dispositions that we can imitate in order for us to lead other people to Christ. It leads me to ask, “Am I blocking the Lord’s way to the minds and hearts of others. What hinders me to bring the presence of Jesus to others?” I can say that every time that I focus on myself, on my own perspectives and place myself as one who is more needed than others it obstructs me to bring and lead the way of the Lord. In addition, I realize that when I rely too much focus on myself it results in confusion and failures.
The Gospel invites me to imitate the honesty and sense of mission of St. John the Baptist. This asks from me the task of bringing others to Jesus and becoming an instrument to lead them to God’s plan.