Saturday before the Epiphany
Memorial Feasts: Saint Basil the Great (330-+379) Bishop and Doctor of the Church, Patron Saint of Russia, Hospital Administrators, Reformers and Monks Saint
Gregory of Nazianzus (329-+390) Bishop and Doctor of the Church, Patron Saint of musicians, singers, students, and teachers
First Letter of Saint John 2:22-28; Psalm 98:1, 2-3AB, 3CD-4; John 1:19-28
John the Baptist by Titian, circa 1540
In today's Gospel narrative, we learn that priests and Levites came to John the Baptist and asked him, "Who are you?" I suspect that the question is asked not out of curiosity but out of suspicion. It is because John is a most remarkable person. He dressed like Isaiah, was the son of a high priest but had nothing to do with the temple, and he proclaimed in a loud voice that the Kingdom of God was at hand. Simply put, he got people's attention, and many people came to him to listen to his words and teachings.
Saint John the Baptist showed humility. He said that he was a prophet sent by God. He could have easily said that he was the Messiah, especially since there were several false prophets and messiahs of the time. However, due to his humility, he did not call himself anything more than a messenger who is preparing the way of the Lord.
Friends, humility requires the sincerity and honesty of a child whose natural spontaneity and acceptance of life are less complicated than an adult's. The paradox is that a humble person wins more respect from others than a proud and powerful person. The humble person does not regard his possessions or accomplishments as his own, but as a gift of God to whom all our thanks are due.
Jesus reminds us in Matthew 23:12, "Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted." Thank you, Lord, we won't forget.
Question of the Day: How will you profess your personal brand of humility in proclaiming Jesus as the Savior of the world?
Prayer: "In times past, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets: in these last days, He has spoken to us through His Son. Alleluia, alleluia."