19 And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?" 20 He confessed, he did not deny, but confessed, "I am not the Christ." 21 And they asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not." "Are you the prophet?" And he answered, "No." 22 They said to him then, "Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?" 23 He said, "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, `Make straight the way of the Lord,' as the prophet Isaiah said." 24 Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. 25 They asked him, "Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?" 26 John answered them, "I baptize with water; but among you stands one whom you do not know, 27 even he who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie." 28 This took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
Today with Mary we are called to contemplate the presence of God in our life. Due to our human problems and tensions, we fail to see the divine presence in our life. John the Baptist is asking each and every one of us to identify the Christ, the saviour of the world.
As Christians we are called to be the visible presence of the invisible God, by our words and deeds. Through our lives that the people, who surround us, discover that we are Christians. This is possible, only if we learn to live in Christ. If our life is not rooted in the Christian values, rooted essentially in Christ, we can’t lead the people towards the Saviour.
The rooting begins with the humility of John Baptist and in the contemplation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Daily Quote from the early church fathers:
John points to the Redeemer, by Gregory the Great (540-604 AD)
"John did not baptize with the Spirit but with water, since he was unable to take away the sins of those being baptized. He washed their bodies with water but not their hearts with pardon. Why did one whose baptism did not forgive sins baptize, except that he was observing his vocation as forerunner? He whose birth foreshadowed greater birth, by his baptizing foreshadowed the Lord who would truly baptize. He whose preaching made him the forerunner of Christ, by baptizing also became his forerunner, using a symbol of the future sacrament. With these other mysteries he makes known the mystery of our Redeemer, declaring that he has stood among people and not been known. The Lord appeared in a human body: he came as God in flesh, visible in his body, invisible in his majesty." (excerpt from FORTY GOSPEL HOMILIES 4)