Year A: 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel: John 1: 29-34
Today’s Gospel is John’s version of the Gospel we heard last week - of the Baptism of Jesus.
From the day he was given his name - and words of prophecy were spoken over him, John was destined to be a prophet of the Most High - to go ahead of the Lord and prepare the way for His coming.
Today sees the fulfilment of that promise as John sees Jesus and recognises Him as the one the world has been waiting for - the Chosen One of God.
How long had John waited for this moment?
How many people had John baptised before that day — wondering which of them would be the One on whom the spirit would descend as God had promised?
Like so many other people in the Scriptures, part of John’s mission was to wait. The waiting was not to be of the “sit back and be bored by waiting” - but an expectant waiting - looking out for the fulfilment of God’s promise - looking for the signs that will show that the moment has come.
John also recognises that the time is coming for him to hand his ministry on to One greater than himself.
He is aware of the limitations of what he can do - and has always made this clear to those who followed him. He is preparing the way for another - his is not the final word.
He can baptise with water - but only the chosen One of God can baptise with the Holy Spirit.
We have a mission very like John’s - to prepare a way for the Lord.
We are people who live in expectant waiting - trusting in the promise of God. Our lives may - indeed should - attract people. Our words may bring comfort and strength to those about us.
But always we must live in the awareness that we are not the “end” - rather we are the means to a greater “End”. Our task is to keep our eyes open for signs of the Kingdom - and to direct people towards those - and away from ourselves.
We are simply the messengers - preparing the way for Jesus - who is the Message.
What does it mean for me?
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