And they asked him, “Then who are you? Elijah?“ He answered, “I am not.“ They said, “Are you the Prophet?“ And he answered, “No.“ Then they said to him, “Tell us who you are, so that we can give some answer to those who sent us. How do you see yourself?“ And John said, quoting the prophet Isaiah, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the Lord!“
Those who had been sent were Pharisees; and they put a further question to John, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are not the Messiah, or Elijah, or the Prophet?“ John answered, “I baptize you with water, but among you stands one whom you do not know; although he comes after me, I am not worthy to untie the strap of his sandal.“
This happened in Bethabara beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
Read: The Gaudete Sunday, where anticipation of the advent of the Lord fills everyone with joy. Isaiah delights in the mission and the promise of salvation given to him by the Lord. Paul gives a three-pronged commandment: rejoice, give thanks, and pray always. John the Baptist reveals his identity and mission before the people.
Reflect: True joy is possible only when one honestly accepts God-given identity and mission, and avoid comparing oneself with others. If John the Baptist were an insecure man, he could have grabbed the many identities attributed to him by others; but he didn‘t. He knew that he was not the Sun, but only a satellite. And in acknowledging it and refusing to be something other than what he is and meant to be, lay his joy and the lightness of being.
Pray: Pray for the gift of self-awareness and self-acceptance.
Act: Dine with your family today, joyfully accepting and affirming the being of each member.