John’s words in today’s Gospel form a declaration of trust. His words are led from the Spirit: he allowed the Spirit to guide him and this led to greater trust in Jesus.
Whilst we may not be approached by Jesus and be asked to baptise him in the local river, there are many prompts, many signs, through which we can begin to listen the the Holy Spirit. First and foremost are the Sacraments and Scripture. By our own baptism we have been signed by the Holy Spirit, just as Jesus was at the Jordan. And, through the Eucharist, we meet Jesus in a special and intimate way. In Scripture we are reminded of Jesus’s ministry, his birth, work, crucifixion and death, and his resurrection from the dead, and we are invited to live in synergy with this life, to emulate Christ through the gifts of the Spirit.
This invitiation is no less outlandish, no less surprising, than what John experienced. But faith IS an unexpected journey of surprise and, through it, we become the fullest people that we were designed to be.
At the heart of our journey is the Spirit, and his constant invitation to our hearts. We know where to begin. But are we open, as was John, to listening to him in our lives? Are we open to spending the time in prayer?
The Lord be with you.
And with your spirit.
A reading from the Gospel according to John (1:29-34)
Glory to you, O Lord.
Seeing Jesus coming towards him, John said,
‘Look, there is the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. This is the one I spoke of when I said:
A man is coming after me who ranks before me because he existed before me. I did not know him myself, and yet it was to reveal him to Israel that I came baptising with water.’
John also declared,
‘I saw the Spirit coming down on him from heaven like a dove and resting on him. I did not know him myself, but he who sent me to baptise with water had said to me,
“The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and rest is the one who is going to baptise with the Holy Spirit.”
Yes, I have seen and I am the witness that he is the Chosen One of God.’
The Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.