Daily Reflection – 1/3/19
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.´ I did not know him, but the reason why I came baptizing with water was that he might be made known to Israel.” John testified further, saying, “I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from the sky and remain upon him. I did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ´On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain, he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.´ Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.”( John 1:29-34)
John the Baptist is not only the forerunner of Christ, but he is the example that all other Christians should model. John was more than just a simple baptizer; he had a legion of faithful followers. What is so special about John? Here are a few points about John that I think all Christians should emulate. He always pointed to Jesus. It was never about himself or his gifts or his ministry. It was all about the Lord.
He was humble to the core. John famously said that he was not even worthy to untie the straps of Jesus sandals. He was faithful till the end. John had some questions like anyone else but he went to the grave believing that Jesus was the messiah. He spoke the truth to everyone without exceptions. John the Baptist was a vocal and well-known critic of Herod Antipas and Herodias. It was their behavior that eventually led to his beheading. John cared not for the riches and things of this world. And his faith was unequivocal. “You will see the Spirit coming down and resting on the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit’. Yes, I have seen! And I declare that this is the Chosen One of God”
John’s life is worth examining. We should be encouraged knowing that our faith is replete with so many Christian brothers and sisters who went before us and have already set the path for us as John has. Whenever we doubt or despair, the example of their lives remind us that our trust in Him is substantiated by those who have believed and given their very lives for Him.
Prayer of The Day
Lord Jesus, knowing your will in my life can be hard at times. Even when I think I do know what you want from me, it can be difficult to follow through — especially when it is something that I did not expect or that requires that I go beyond my “comfort zone.” But, Lord, I do want to do your will. Grant me the same spirit of belief, faith and dedication as St. John the Baptist!
The fact that we have to trust in God and allow him to reveal his plan as we go along means that we have to be very attentive to his work in our life. John the Baptist recognized Jesus because he was paying total attention to the signs God was giving him: the Holy Spirit revealed to him that Jesus was the Messiah. God will usually not speak to us through visions and special signs; however, if we have St. John the Baptist’s attitude of openness to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit and seeing God’s will in the events around us, we will be able to discern his plan for our life and fulfill it. The most important time to listen to God is in prayer, so setting aside time to be with God has to be part of our daily routine.