Third Sunday of Advent – Cycle b
Isaiah 61:1-2,10-11; 1 Thess 5:16-24; John 1:6-8,19-28
In today’s Gospel the priests and Levites ask John three questions:
- “Are you the Christ, the Messiah?”
- “Are you Elijah?”
- “Are you the prophet?”
And it is fascinating the humility of John answering all three questions:
“No. I am not the Messiah!”
“No, I am not Elijah!”
“No, I am not a prophet!”
In our world, where we are obsessed with being number one, where everybody would like to be on top, where the championship is the only one thing that matters …. the humility of John, denying his prerogatives or privileges is really fascinating and surprising. Jesus said about him, “Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist” and yet John see himself in a very humble manner: “I am not worthy to untie the thong of the sandals of the One Who is coming after me.”
So the priests and Levites ask John a fourth question:
- “If you are not the Christ, or Elijah or the Prophet then why are you baptizing?”
In other words who are you, for whom do you take yourself, what are your references and qualifications, where is your PhD, what are your recommendations, what are your credentials?
And the answer of John is once again very humble: „I am only a voice of one crying out in the wilderness. ‘Make straight the way of the Lord.”
We too face such questions. We too ask very often the questions: who are those, who dare to teach us are and what are their credentials? Often our questions are just as hard in our hearts as questions of John’s inquisitors.
Perhaps even during the last Advent Mission we were asking ourselves:
Who are these people, what are their credentials and qualifications to teach us, to tell us what we have to do and what we cannot do? How do they dear to impose us their ideas and convictions?
And???? the answer is like in the case of St. John the Baptist:
„I am only a voice of one crying out in the wilderness. ‘Make straight the way of the Lord.”
There is still a voice of one crying in the wilderness … because the paths of our lives are still crooked, twisted and dishonest.
Fr. Kazimierz Kubat SDS