Theme: Witnessing to the light
In today's liturgy, we hear John the Baptist say to us: There stands one among you whom you know not. The one he speaks of is Christ our saviour. Christ is the unseen guest at our banquet. More than that, he is the host who welcomes us to his banquet given by the Father. We are called to draw close to him and renew our faith in His presence with us. He works wonders for us. He name is holy. His mercy is from age to age on those who fear Him for He fills the starving with good things.
1st reading ( Isaiah 61: 1-2fg). The writer declares that he has been anointed by God and sent to bring good news to the poor, Jesus used this passage to announce the Programme of his ministry.
2nd reading ( 1 Thess 5: 16-24): St. Paul tells the Thessalonians how they out to live as they wait for the second coming of Christ.
Gospel ( John 1: 6-8, 19-28). John the Baptist makes it clear that he is not the saviour.
His task is a humbler one - to prepare the way for the saviour who is already among the people, though they do not recognise him.
In today's Gospel, we are told that John was a witness for the light: The light, of course, was Christ.
Johnny was a wonderful witness. He witnessed not only with his words but especially with his deeds and his life. When the light finally appeared, John was quite content to fade from the scene and let Christ take over. That takes greatness.
For many people in the world today, Christ has become a very dim and distant figure. The words of today's Gospel are true: There stands one among you whom you know not; Christ has come into our world. What more, he remains with us as he promised. He still needs witnesses, people who can effectively make him present to other people.
No witnesses reach our contemporaries more persuasively than the witness of those who do what Jesus did and who live as he lived.
If Christ is the light of my life then naturally I will let that light of my life shine simply by the way I live. How can I witness to the light if I live by values that do not even remotely resemble those of the Gospel? Without the witness of Christians the face of Christ, already blurred, will continue to fade from the world. He will continue to stand among us, unknown and unrecognised. The hearts will remain broken and people will remain imprisoned in darkness and the good news will not be preached to the poor.
May God grant us the grace to witness the Light of Christ to all the people, everywhere and all the time