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The baptism of Jesus

Gospel Reading: Jn 1:19-28
This is the testimony of John. When the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to him to ask him, “Who are you?” he admitted and did not deny it, but admitted, “I am not the Christ.” So they asked him, “What are you then?

Are you Elijah?” And he said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.” So they said to him, “Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us? What do you have to say for yourself?” He said:/ “I am the voice of one crying out in the desert,/ “Make straight the way of the Lord,” / as Isaiah the prophet said.” Some Pharisees were also sent. They asked him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ or Elijah or the Prophet?” John answered them, “I baptize with water; but there is one among you whom you do not recognize, the one who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.” This happened in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

REFLECTION
WHO ARE YOU?

John the Baptist’s identity is questioned by the priests and Levites, who were sent by Jews from Jerusalem. His response to the repeated questions about his identity is a quotation from Is 40:3, “I am the voice of one crying out in the desert.” He compares himself to a “voice,” a herald who calls on the people to make “straight the way of the Lord.” Honesty and sincerity are the virtues that fittingly describe John the Baptist, qualities that seem wanting nowadays. He could grasp the opportunity to advance his personal agenda, but, no, he is well aware of his role in the history of salvation. John invites us to ask ourselves: how honest and sincere are we in our dealings with others?

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Self-knowledge helps us recognize Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

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SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: publishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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