“As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on thing and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down you cannot see something that is above you.” ― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Gospel Text: (MK 1:7-11)
This is what John the Baptist proclaimed:
"One mightier than I is coming after me.
I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals.
I have baptized you with water;
he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."
It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee
and was baptized in the Jordan by John.
On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open
and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him.
And a voice came from the heavens,
"You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased."
What qualified John the Baptist to be the “first evangelist”? Perhaps it was his humility. St. Thomas wrote, “The virtue of humility consists in keeping oneself within one’s own bounds, not reaching out to things above one, but submitting to one’s superior.” John knew his position in the universe. He was not God. He was not the Messiah. Rather, John was merely a voice, crying in the wilderness; the Messiah was much greater. John did not even consider himself to be worthy to carry the Messiah’s sandals. John baptized with water, but the Messiah’s baptism was far greater.
Because of his humility, John was the best person to introduce Jesus. In Wednesday’s gospel reading, John encouraged two of his own disciples to follow Jesus. John was willing to let go of his own disciples because he knew the ultimate leader was Jesus, not himself.