How wonderful to be at the threshold of a new year. As Christians, we treasure time because it was in a moment of time that Jesus took our human flesh as his own, Jesus took us as his own.
In today’s Gospel reading, John the Baptist handles the queries about his role by saying that the one to pay attention to is the one who is still coming after him, and who is greater than himself, John.
This response of John to the priests, Levites and Pharisees is also a response that speaks to us. Priests, Levites and Pharisees are respectable religious leaders in the social fabric of the Holy Land at the time of Jesus.
Many of us are engaged in service to the Church, whether in local parish communities, in religious endeavors, or in Religious Life. Some of us can probably draw on a long history of formation and practice in the structures of the Church.
When these emissaries came to John to inquire about his preaching and baptizing, he gave them the one challenge that can bridge the gap between us and Jesus, the gap that keeps our good will from achieving all that God expects of us. “…but there is one among you whom you do not recognize, the one who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.”
That person is Jesus, and the person of Jesus in our neighbor. If we hope to see the person of Jesus in our midst, we have to recognize the person of Jesus in our brothers and sisters.
New Year was popularly a time for making “resolutions.” One is enough: to look for the person of Jesus in our surroundings, and to point him out to others.
Fr. Arthur Carrillo, C.P., is the director of the Missions for Holy Cross Province. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.