Testifying to the Light

Every year on the Second Sunday of Advent, we hear about John the Baptist, about whom I’ve written before. Luke tells us in today’s Gospel that John “went throughout the whole region of the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentence for the forgiveness of sins.”

John the Baptist was given an important role. He was, in the words of Isaiah quoted in Luke’s Gospel, the “voice of one crying out in the desert: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.” Or, as it is put in the prologue to John’s Gospel, he “came for testimomy, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him.” And John reminds us that “he was not the light, but came to testify to the light.”

I often say about John that what makes him so special to me is that he knew it wasn’t about him and that was OK with him. He knew that his job was to point the way to Christ and to help us prepare to receive Him.

John the Baptist is a worthy role model for all of us. When we are tempted to put the focus on ourselves, John should be our reminder that we too are messengers.Like John, we are all charged to testify to the light, to point the way to Christ by our words and our deed. To prepare not only ourselves to receive Christ, but all those with whom we come in contact.

Last year on this Second Sunday of Advent, I posted a podcast with a reflection on John the Baptist. The post, from which you can stream the podcast, is here.