2nd Week of Advent (13th December, 2018)
First Reading: Is 41: 13-20 (I am your redeemer)
Gospel: Mt 11: 11-15 (Jesus praises John the Baptist)
In today’s Gospel of Mathew, Jesus gives the ultimate honour to John the Baptist as the greatest born in this world of a women. It is believed that he is the last of all prophets and John is Elijah himself as declared by Jesus.
What are John’s qualities? In simplicity and humility, he is the one to follow. He lived in the wilderness; He wore a camel skin with a leather belt on it; ate locusts and wild honey.
John baptised people and prepared the way for Jesus, declaring his worthlessness, when compared to Jesus.
Jesus was in real praise for John.
Soon Lord Jesus declares: ‘But the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John.’
The reflection I got is that, Jesus said this to highlight the kingdom of God and its greatness.
The greatest quality in John the Baptist that we see and can copy is his humility.
Our own Pope Francis is an excellent example. Hardly a day passes that we’re not witness to a new example of how truly humble a man our Pope is. He paid his own hotel bill just hours after being chosen as pontiff; he opts for the simple white cassock and black shoes; he wants a “poor church to serve the poor.”
On Maundy Thursday, Pope Francis was taking the traditional Holy Week priestly foot washing ceremony to new heights of humility by washing feet of detainees at a prison, not considering the cast or creed.
What a role model for us to follow!
In this advent season, let’s try and discover the John the Baptist in ourselves in the form of simplicity and humility. Amen.