2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time: John 1:29-34
Pastor Reflection In the first reading of today’s Mass we hear the Old Testament prophet Isaiah proclaim: The LORD said to me: You are my servant, Israel, through whom I show my glory. Now the LORD has spoken who formed me as his servant from the womb…
While we can imagine the Lord speaking those words to a great prophet like Isaiah, can you imagine the Lord speaking those words to you? Probably not; but I would like to suggest that you should.
Many of us consider ourselves to be insignificant. We number ourselves among the little people. We admire football players, basketball players and other sports heroes. Hollywood stars and rock stars receive a lot of public adulation. And there are others among us whom we consider to be very significant people. But ourselves? Well… most of us don’t consider ourselves to be that significant. But we should.
Today’s Gospel account is all about John the Baptist. Well, not really. It’s really all about Jesus Christ and involves John the Baptist pointing Him out and urging people to pay attention to Jesus. Jesus said of John the Baptist: Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist…But John the Baptist said of himself: I am not worthy to carry his sandals.
Still, John the Baptist must have recognized that he had a significant role to play. He knew he was to testify to the presence of the Messiah amongst us. He knew God wanted him to point Jesus out, to proclaim His presence, to announce the arrival of the Messiah. John was quite aware of his part to play in God’s scheme of things. But he was also aware that some people thought he, John the Baptist, was the Messiah, not Jesus, and John did not want that to happen.
What I want to say to you today is that you, too, each one of you here, is significant in God’s great scheme of things. Each one of you has his or her, own completely unique DNA coding. No one who ever was, or who is living now, or who ever will live in the future, can have your DNA coding. You are completely one of a kind. No one else will ever be exactly like you. Even if you are someone’s identical twin, your twin will not be who you are. You are very special to God… very important to Him. Let me say it again: there will never be another you and if you don’t love God just as you are, He will never be loved like that… ever!
There’s another thing. You play a significant role in the lives of those around you. Your example in dealing with life is significant and important for those around you who know you. Life is unfair. Life is difficult. Life brings suffering… a lot of suffering… with it. How you deal with it will be very significant to a number of people who know you. But life has its joys too. Life brings good fortune and happiness to us. How you handle success, along with the generosity in your heart, can be of great significance to people who know you. How you handle both success and failure has an impact on others.
Greatness in the eyes of this world doesn’t amount to much, or even last very long. What matters, and what is everlasting, is your greatness in the eyes of God. What matters is your response to the love in God’s heart for you in your uniqueness, in your individuality, in your importance to Him in His great scheme of things. Each one of us, no matter how little we may consider ourselves to be, is important to God and important to others as well. Keep up the good job and be an inspiration to those around you.