We are introduced to John the Baptist in the Gospel passage from John. John the Baptist is somewhat of a mysterious figure to us. He lived a very austere life; living in the wilderness, eating locusts and wild honey, wearing a garment of camel’s hair. He preached a message of repentance and baptized in the Jordan River. John was not the messiah and readily told those who questioned him as much. John was the person Isaiah wrote of when he said; “A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord.” (Is 40:3)
In the passage we hear John’s reply to the Pharisees who questioned why he baptized; “I baptize with water; 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.” John knew his place. He was not seeking glory or honor, rather he was there to prepare the people for the messiah. He was a humble man of God doing what God had asked.
We live in a world that all too often does not recognize the One among us. We fail to realize God dwells with us. Some people fail to recognize that God even exists! How tragic it is they will not open their minds and hearts to the One who created them in His own image. Perhaps there are even people who come to gather with us who fail to acknowledge the God we worship is present to us in the tabernacle and in the Most Precious Body and Blood of Jesus in the Eucharist. We, like the Pharisees of old, can fail to see God present in our midst.
How can we assist those who fail to recognize God among us? I believe by living an active, loving faith life, God shines through us. When others see our inner joy that comes from knowing God, they will want what we hold so dear. When they see us bear our burdens with a spirit of hope, they will desire the same. We can be witnesses of God in our world- that is what we are called to. So shine the light of God in your life, attract others to the One in our midst. Prepare the way of the Lord! And may God bless you!