In today’s Gospel John the Baptist through his followers asks of Jesus, “Are you the one”? Isn’t that a question we all ask at some point or even frequently during our lives? We might ask the question in a different way. Are you real God? Are you there? As we move through our faith journey and face challenges or struggles, we may wonder. We too want to know and want some assurance. At the time of John the Baptist, Jesus was in full view performing miracles and curing many, yet at times today we can lose sight of His actions in the world or in our lives, might not so clearly see His work or feel He is here.
John sent his followers to ask the question that would impact his life in a significant way. How do we answer that question for ourselves? Do we approach the Lord in prayer? Do we talk to Him? Do we ask Him? Do we invite Him into our life? Do we ask for confirmation? Do we stay close to Him spend time with Him ask others about Him or read the Bible that we might learn? Like John, the question is important. We have to ask.
The alternative is not to ask. To not ponder the question and what it means. To keep our faith at a safe distance. Comfortable with having the Lord around, but not too close. Really knowing the truth told John the Baptist a lot and changed things meaningfully for him. He would decrease and fade away while the Lord would increase. Knowing the truth would change a lot of things for us. Our plans and our ways would also decrease in importance and the Lord’s influence would increase in our lives. The answer might ask things of us and make us look closer at ourselves, challenge us.
Oh, but what we would gain. To know His presence, His truth, His love. To rest in Him. Like John, may we develop a hunger to know the truth about The Lord.
Steve Walsh is a retreatant at Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center in Sierra Madre ,and a good friend of the Passionist Community.