The gospel reading for this Sunday is taken from John 1:29-34:
John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said,“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. He is the one of whom I said, ‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me because he existed before me. ’I did not know him, but the reason why I came baptizing with water was that he might be made known to Israel.” John testified further, saying, “I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven and remain upon him. I did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain,he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit. ’Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.”
As I read and prayed over this gospel, I was struck by the words, "I did not know Him." John says this twice! How can John not have know Jesus? Jesus was his cousin; when Mary and Elizabeth met one another when they were both pregnant with these special little boys, John leaped in Elizabeth's womb. How could he not know Jesus? Then it struck me that John was saying that he did know exactly who Jesus was; the Lamb of God, the Messiah we all wait for. But John proclaimed who Jesus was, not because of familial relationships, but because of the inspiration John received from God the Father. John saw the dove, the Holy Spirit come down upon Jesus and he believed.
Do my thoughts and actions say that "I did not know Him?" Do I see and recognize Christ in others around me, in my daily life, in events that happen? Or do I forget that Christ is part of everyone and everything? I need to be aware of Christ's presence in everything I say and do; every moment of my life. As in our second reading of today, Paul tells us we are "called to be holy." We cannot be holy unless we truly KNOW Jesus.
With peace and love,