Today’s Gospel: John 1, 19-28 – Saints Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen
When John the Baptist began preaching in the desert, he caused quite a stir. Who was this man, this camel-clothed locust-eater? Who did he think he was, preaching without the approval of the religious authorities? They had to investigate. We always do, we who are the faith community- we need to find out who that guy is so we know if he is one of us or not.
It’s a human tendency to want to define ourselves and others. We draw lines of separation all over the place and are quick to group ourselves with like-minded people, distancing ourselves from causes and people we find distasteful. Are you a conservative? A stay-at-home mom? A vegetarian? Do you like worship music more than traditional hymns? Whatever labels we choose to embrace or reject, we are quick to tell others, “I’m not like that.”
When John finally tells them who he is, he speaks simply and clearly: “I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord.’” Maybe this made little sense to his listeners, but it is clear to us- John is describing himself through the lens of Jesus. He tells them who he is in relationship to Christ. His entire purpose is to point the way to the One who comes after him, the One upon whom their attention should really be focused. He doesn’t let his personal preferences, as interesting as they are, get in the way of his mission to show who Jesus is.
Is it the same with us? When we describe ourselves, do we show Christ to others?
When we identify our loyalties and share our preferences, are we as careful to show who we are through the lens of Jesus?
Jesus, I want to point others to You not only by what I do, but by who I am. Please guide my hand as I point the way.
Copyright 2016 Abbey Dupuy
Abbey Dupuy writes her life as a homeschooling mom to a small collective. She muses about parenting, practicing gratitude and celebrating the liturgical year with her young family at Surviving Our Blessings (http://survivingourblessings.com) . In her spare time, Abbey enjoys running, knitting, coffee and cookbooks, not usually all at the same time.