Gospel: Jn 1:19-28
This was the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites to ask him, “Who are you?“ John recognized the truth, and did not deny it. He said, “I am not the Messiah.“
And they asked him, “Then who are you? Elijah?“ He answered, “I am not.“ They said, “Are you the Prophet?“ And he answered, “No.“ Then they said to him, “Tell us who you are, so that we can give some answer to those who sent us. How do you see yourself?“ And John said, quoting the prophet Isaiah, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the Lord!“
Those who had been sent were Pharisees; and they put a further question to John, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are not the Messiah, or Elijah, or the Prophet?“ John answered, “I baptize you with water, but among you stands one whom you do not know; although he comes after me, I am not worthy to untie the strap of his sandal.“
This happened in Bethabara beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
Christ Jesus is in our midst! We have been rejoicing in this wonderful mystery since Christmas day! As we start a new year John the Baptist invites us to know more about Jesus. He tells those who came to interview him: “Among you stands one whom you do not know.“
It is good to ask ourselves “Do I really know Jesus?“
Jesus, the “cute“ baby born in the very humble manger in Bethlehem, is the Son of God, the Christ! This truth of our faith was taught and defended by our Saints of today–Basil and Gregory–in their fight against Arianism. The one who refuses to accept this truth–that Jesus is true God and true man–is an antichrist, says John in our 1st reading!
To know Jesus, however, is not only to know what our teachers of the faith teach us. To know Jesus is also to know how we are related personally to Jesus. The question “Do you know Jesus“ may be rephrased into “What is your relationship with Jesus?“ For John the Baptist, he knew Jesus as the WORD and he saw himself as the VOICE. John would later on say “He must increase, but I must decrease. (Jn 3:30)“