Author: David DuBey ‘18, Catholic Terps Treasurer
And this is what he 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.”
In today’s Gospel reading we see the fulfilment of a prophecy from Isaiah that a messenger will be sent before Jesus to prepare his way. This messenger is John the Baptist who God has chosen to proclaim the coming of his son and prepare the world for his arrival. No pressure, right? Could you imagine being the one not only responsible for preparing the world for the arrival of Christ but beginning his ministry by preaching the forgiveness of sins through baptism. And on top of that, John is the very same man that would later baptize Jesus. With great power always comes great responsibility and the temptation to abuse that power. John very well had the chance to take advantage of his new found following to prop himself up as the Savior, the only one who could forgive sins and then sit back and reap the rewards. But John recognizes that his success and the reason that, “People of the whole Judean countryside and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem,” were coming out to be baptized was through the power of God acting in him, not his own power. The culmination of this is when he tells his followers of the one that will come after him. Throughout his ministry, he never points others to himself but the one who will come after him: to Jesus. I think this is a point that we all can learn from. When we share our faith with others there is always the habit of being nervous or too scared to open up about how God has acted in our life. When we do this, we are shifting the spotlight from God to ourselves. We are making evangelization about us and not God. We need to be open to allowing God to speak through us and recognize that spreading God’s word has nothing to do with our personal ability or power but everything to do with trusting God to give us the words to spread his love to others.