“Marching forward with faith and love, through the valleys and mountains and wilderness and oasis, preparing for the Coming of Jesus!
(Based on Is 61:1-2a, 10-11, 1 Thess 5:16-24 and Jn 1:6-8,19-28 – 3rd Sunday of Advent, Year B)
One of the most common & natural styles of engaging in a conversation with a stranger, is getting to “know more” about the person.
This process to “getting to know more” about the person includes:
…getting to know His/Her name…
…getting to know His/Her occupations…
…getting to know His/Her interests and likings…
The Gospel of the Day is an introduction to the person of John the Baptist.
An attempt is made to “know more” about John…
His name… His occupations… His interests and liking.
The Fourth Gospel introduces the person of St John the Baptist to us.
He is a person of great enthusiasm, of a passionate zeal and of a fighting spirit.
Some Priests and Levites came to him to ask, “Who are you” (Jn 1: 19)
John the Baptist was quite clear and convinced of the answer to this question.
He admitted that he was not the Messiah. (Jn 1: 20)
He admitted that he was not Elijah. (Jn 1: 21)
He admitted that he was not the Prophet. (Jn 1: 21)
He testified that he was the voice crying in the desert. (Jn 1: 23)
He testified that he was the one exhorting to ‘make straight the way of the Lord’. (Jn 1:23)
He testified that he was the witness to the Light that was coming to enlighten the world. (Jn1: 8)
He testified that the One coming after him was ranking ahead of him (Jn 1: 15)
A deep conviction of “who he was” guided all the actions of John the Baptist.
A powerful knowledge of “his role in life” was the strength of mission for John the Baptist.
A clear cut awareness of “what was his mission” was the secret of success for John the Baptist.
Do I possess such kind of a deep and “anchored” conviction in my Christian Life?
John the Baptist was questioned, “Who are you” by many people.
He had an answer for it…
… and that made Him not to waver or get bogged down by situations.
Life often throws this question to us – “Who are you?”
When we face emotional crisis in our relationships and social interactions, we are encountered with this question, deep within us…
… “Who are you?”
When things in life do not go the way we wished or expected and somehow the future appears bleak, we are encountered with this question, deep within us…
… “Who are you?”
When in the castle of interiority, we experience a barrenness and a feeling of isolation from the Lord, we are encountered with this question, deep within us…
… “Who are you?”
Failing to find an answer to this question, can sometimes….
… plunge us into a deep struggle
… make us to fear life and people
… crush our hopes and aspirations.
We may tend to think…
… “What really is the purpose of my life?”
… “Why should I continue to life in this manner?”
… “I wish I could just be free from all this web of pain and tensions!”
Yes, life will at many times, throw this question at us – “Who are you?”
Today, St John the Baptist, exhorts & challenges us, to not get too disturbed when we are faced with this provoking question in life.
Our faith and strength, like St John the Baptist, ought to be Jesus, the Light.
Our hope and courage, like St John the Baptist, ought to be Jesus, the Messiah.
I am God’s Child….
… in this is my true identity.
I am the witness to the True Light…
… in this is my true role in life.
I am a Voice in the wilderness…
… in this is my Christian duty and obligation.
I am dependant on the Grace and Mercy of the Lord…
… in this is my authentic hope and faith.
With Isaiah, the Prophet, let us echo: “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” (Isa 61:10)
With St Paul, let us also exult, as he exhorts us: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit!” (1 Thess 5:16-19)
May St John the Baptist, whom we have come to “know more” today, become an inspiration and a challenge, as we march forward…
with faith and love
through the valleys and mountains
and wilderness and oasis
… through these days of the Season of Advent, preparing for the Coming of Jesus!
As the words of that beautiful hymn goes…
“WHO AM I?”
… I AM YOURS!
God Bless! Live Jesus!