Welcome back to Ordinary Time everyone! Thankfully, there’s NOTHING ordinary about it!
Today’s Bible’s readings provide clear and inspiring reminders of the most fundamental part of our identity — that of close friends of our most high and holy God, modern-day disciples of Jesus.
John the Baptist recognized the holiness of Jesus and the response due Him when he encountered Jesus in person on the day they met at the Jordan River. His response, which we read in our Gospel passage from St. John was, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world… He is the one of whom I said, ‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’”
What a powerful description of our Lord and the place He should rightfully have in each of our lives. He is truly our Savior, the only one who can free us from our sins. We are completely dependent on His power, love, and mercy. Therefore, He truly does “rank ahead” of us; he deserves to be first, above all other priorities and plans in our lives. Let us examine our daily lives and encourage our children to do the same.
Does the way I spend my time reflect that God comes first? Do prayer and weekly Mass, regular confession, a time with my family “rank ahead” of everything else on my calendar? Do I use my talents, skills, and energy to serve my family, parish and community in thanksgiving and recognition that God’s kingdom ranks ahead of any other goals or ambitions? Do I spend my money and use my material possessions to glorify God?
Challenging questions, to be sure. But questions worthy of our high calling as close friends offered a glorious mission in service of our Lord and His kingdom. What will our response be?
Rev. Mark Zacker