January 2, 2017
by Carol Zuenger
Creighton University's Journalism Department
click here for photo and information about the writer

Memorial of Saints Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops and Doctors of the Church
Lectionary: 205

1 John 2:22-28
Psalms 98:1, 2-3ab, 3cd-4
John 1:19-28

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Reading today’s Gospel made me take a deep breath and marvel at the faith of John and the other followers of Jesus. Sometimes that faith faltered or was thin and near-breaking.  The apostles and followers of Jesus were ordinary people. They weren’t the most educated or the wealthy.  They had the chance to spend time with Jesus, to know him, even though that ended up confusing them much of the time. But despite the confusion, there was faith. And though it might have faltered at times, it was there and grew. The words of John in today’s Gospel makes me think of that faith. “… The one who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.”

I am not sure if John completely understood all that it meant for Jesus to become man. But John did have faith in the midst of not understanding. When questioned by the priests and the Levites, he tried to make them understand that what Jesus represents was not like what had come before. John, like all of us, had to grapple with the idea of God made man. Yet, he believed and he baptized. He answered questions from those surely meant to trip him up, to make him falter.

My own self can trip me up. My own faith sometimes falters. I fall short of being the person I should be. In the midst of not understanding, I have to have faith. I put my trust in God every day when I open my heart and pray.  I ask God to help me to take a deep breath and be the person I can be. Let me be the voice crying out in the desert to make straight the way of the Lord. Let me make that way straight in my own life.

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