by Sem. Richard Lim
The news are often filled with violence, scandals, corruption, tragedies and the like. Apparently, these are what sells. These are what people like to read about or watch on television. There were times when I would browse through a newspaper and ask myself where God was in the midst of these events. Did He even care?
In today’s Gospel, John the Baptist also voiced out his questions when he found out what Jesus was doing. He probably was not what John’s disciples were expecting. Jesus answered them by telling them what the prophecies said of the coming Messiah.
As I reflect on the Gospel, I realized two things: First, it is okay to ask God about our doubts and questions. There was a time when I thought that I should not do so because that might be perceived as a lack of faith. But God is bigger than my misgivings, and He would want me to go to Him and talk to Him about these things, just like John the Baptist did when he sent his disciples to Jesus. The second realization is that, as a Christian, I am to be God’s presence in the world. And so, the question I asked of God earlier is a question I could also ask of myself. How am I an extension of God’s love to others? Do I care about the people around me?
A book I read said that God uses the priesthood to “bring people to Jesus and Jesus to people.” This is the invitation of the Gospel to me. As a priest-in-process, this is the invitation of the Gospel to me.
When John the Baptist heard in prison of the works of the Christ,
he sent his disciples to Jesus with this question,
“Are you the one who is to come,
or should we look for another?”
Jesus said to them in reply,
“Go and tell John what you hear and see:
the blind regain their sight,
the lame walk,
lepers are cleansed,
the deaf hear,
the dead are raised,
and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.
And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”
As they were going off,
Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John,
“What did you go out to the desert to see?
A reed swayed by the wind?
Then what did you go out to see?
Someone dressed in fine clothing?
Those who wear fine clothing are in royal palaces.
Then why did you go out? To see a prophet?
Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
This is the one about whom it is written:
Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you;
he will prepare your way before you.
Amen, I say to you,
among those born of women
there has been none greater than John the Baptist;
yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”