Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we heard about the actions of John the Baptist and Jesus, who were both baptising the people at the Jordan river. We heard about how he humbly rejoiced when his own Lord and Master gained popularity over that of his, and despite the protests from his own disciples, he remained true to his mission, that is as the herald and as the one who preceded the coming of the Messiah of God.
Through him, the world now knows the reality and the truth found in the Saviour of the world, our Lord Jesus Christ, Who came into this world in order to save it from the certain destruction if we were all to follow our usual path in the ways of the world, and in all the vices and sins we have committed daily in our respective lives. Through Him this world has found a new light.
And it is to this light that all of us have been called, that is to shed and to leave behind all the traces and taints of our sins and wickedness behind us, and to put forth righteousness and faith in our God. In Jesus our Lord, we have the example and the lead to follow if we are to be freed from the bonds of darkness and the servitude to sin and death that had kept us and many others chained throughout the ages.
As we approach the ending of our celebration of Christmas and all of its mysteries and nature, all of us should take some time to reflect on what Christmas and its joy, and indeed what our faith truly means for us. Is it just the celebration and joy because we are following what others had done, and then we just join in all the fun and the partying? Or did we rejoice because we know what the Lord had done for us?
St. John the Baptist knew all these, and as he knew the greatness of God’s love and all that He had planned to do for us all mankind, he rejoiced and praised the Lord with all his might whenever he heard the Lord Jesus making advances in His earthly works and missions, as he knew that he had been successful in the mission he was brought into this world for, that is to prepare the way for his Lord and Master, Jesus.
It is in our human nature to be jealous and to desire things for ourselves, such as power, influence, money, wealth and many other worldly goods and things. And therefore, the disciples of John the Baptist asked such questions because they thought it would have been natural for someone to be jealous and to be angry when another person seems to be better and doing things that are harmful or in opposition to what a person is doing.
But St. John the Baptist enlightened them and told them how as a servant of God, Whose works were then just beginning to take off, into the perfect fulfilment of God’s plan of salvation, he was just a tool in the hands of the Lord. And what is important is that the work of God was done, and as he diminished and became less, the Lord became more important.
In the first reading, we all heard at the end of the reading, where St. John in his letter or epistle reminded all the faithful who read that Epistle, of the importance of avoiding idols and keeping ourselves free from the taints of wickedness. This is applicable to us all today as well, as these idols will bring us further away from the Lord and ever closer to damnation.
We may think that we are safe from idols and from such corruptions, but we are truly wrong in this. Take note that these idols may not be the idols of gold, silver, wood or stone, carvings and images of animals as it was in the past, but our new idols are the idols of money, of fame, of recognition and affluence, all of which often come in between us and God.
Let us all therefore today commit ourselves anew in faith to our Lord, so that we may be able to better resist the temptation of these new idols, and therefore gain for ourselves the salvation that we can only find in the Lord our God. Let us commit ourselves to say and do things that will glorify God forevermore and let us no longer be idle or be distracted in our path. God bless us all in all of our endeavours. Amen.