02.01.2020 — Serene Response

Christmas Weekday, Thursday – 02nd January 2020 — Gospel: John 1,19-28

Serene Response

Today’s gospel presents John the Baptist as a man who is conscious of his self. He is not trying to convince or impress anyone about who he is or what he is trying to do. He answers the questions of the priests and Levites calmly and resolutely. The earlier figure of John presented him as more authoritative and demanding. Indeed the people recognized him as God’s spokesperson and obeyed his voice of repentance. Here in this context, John does not explain away his behaviour nor does he need to claim his purposes which focus on how he can love and serve Jesus. However, the priests and Levites came to see John for several reasons; may be to know if John preached correct beliefs or to know if he was a genuine prophet or they were jealous of his popularity in the desert. In short, they wanted to know who John the Baptist was. He invited these people to think about the Messiah, and not about himself; about his message and not himself the messenger. John is a powerful model of knowing who he is and how he focuses. With John as a touchstone we need to define ourselves to the basic questions or assumptions of others. How will I respond when people ask me directly or metaphorically “who are you?”