Sunday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time
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John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. He is the one of whom I said, ‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me because he existed before me,’…Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.”
I did not know him. How could John not know Christ? Weren’t they cousins? Didn’t they spend time together as teenagers?
Yes, John the Baptist knew his cousin. He knew Jesus of Nazareth. But only gradually did he come to know Jesus, the Son of God. He came to know him not because he was told, but because he could tell.
Do you know who Jesus is? Do you know who He is because you were told or because you can tell?
Come to know the Lord by His words and actions. Experience Him through His words and actions. Do you need to increase your faith? Then take a leap of faith. Do as the Lord has commanded you to do: love one another as I have loved you.
This morning I gave a talk to a bunch of 1st graders. Believe me, it’s not easy as you think. When I asked the teacher what she wanted me to talk about, she said, “Well, our topic for today is ‘Saying yes to God.'”
You gotta be kidding me, I thought. How do a bunch of 1st graders say ‘yes’ to God??? Well, almost immediately the words “Christ on my mind, on my lips and in my heart” came to my heart, mind and lips.
He ranks ahead of me. In order to know Christ and say yes to Him, I need to acknowledge something very important and quite humbling: that he ranks ahead of me; that he knows better than me.
After forty-eight years of life and twenty years in the religious life, I have finally come to terms with my arrogance and ignorance. Instead of constantly trying to reinvent the wheel and say and do things my way, I wish I had said and did what Christ wanted me to say and do. Oh, how I would be the better person for it.
The Lord truly ranks ahead of me! He knows so much better than me.
How foolish of me not to have realized this sooner. How ridiculous of me to have even questioned it. All of my mistakes are because I wanted to do it my way. All of my sins are because I wanted to be ahead of Him, get in front of Him and “pwn” Him. Oh, how silly of me. How silly of us!
John got it right, and so quickly: “He must increase; I must decrease” (Jn 3:30). Why didn’t I get this? How could I have missed this! Did I think the sun shined because of me? Oh, how the prophets understood this “servant” stuff all so well.
“No longer shall the sun be your light by day, nor the brightness of the moon shine upon you at night. The Lord shall be your light forever, your God shall be your glory.” Amen! Amen! The Son does not shine because of me. He shines for me. He enlightens my mind. He opens my lips. He inspires my heart.
“All the earth shall bow down before you, O God, and shall sing to you, shall sing to your name, O Most High” (Ps. 66:4).
“Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will” (Ps. 40:8a,9a). (0)
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- John 1: 29-34