“Seek not the favor of the multitude; it is seldom got by honest and lawful means. But seek the testimony of few; and number not voices, but weigh them.” ― Immanuel Kant: (1724 – 1804: German philosopher)
Gospel Text: (JN 1:19-28)
This is the testimony of John.
When the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to him
to ask him, “Who are you?”
He admitted and did not deny it, but admitted,
“I am not the Christ.”
So they asked him,
“What are you then? Are you Elijah?”
And he said, “I am not.”
“Are you the Prophet?”
He answered, “No.”
So they said to him,
“Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us?
What do you have to say for yourself?”
“I am the voice of one crying out in the desert,
‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’
as Isaiah the prophet said.”
Some Pharisees were also sent.
They asked him,
“Why then do you baptize
if you are not the Christ or Elijah or the Prophet?”
John answered them,
“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.”
This happened in Bethany across the Jordan,
where John was baptizing.
In today’s gospel John the Baptist is not trying to convince anyone about who he is or what he is trying to do. He answers the questions from the priests and the Levites calmly and resolutely. John does not explain away his behavior nor does he need invented resolutions which focus on how he can love and serve Jesus.
John responds by asserting what he does, “I baptize with water….” Then, pointing out that “there is one among you whom you do not recognize…,” he gives testimony to that other person by testifying to his own unworthiness, “…whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.”
Testimony is not given in words, the testimony which is most honest, is the testimony of actions/deeds. We have come to the start of a new year, one which is laden with challenge. How will you respond?
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