The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. He is the one of whom I said, 'A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.' I did not know him, but the reason why I came baptizing with water was that he might be made known to Israel."
John testified further, saying, "I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from the sky and remain upon him. I did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain, he is the one who will baptize with the holy Spirit.'
this was today's Gospel reading at mass. the homily (or *sermon*) was pretty decent. i only mention this because some homilists are really brilliant at what they do and others, i am sad to say, are a little less than inspiring
(note to self:
remember we are also at mass for the liturgy of the Eucharist and they all possess the spiritual gifts that enable them to do that the same, thanks be to God...
/note to self)
today's homily centered around our having the Holy Spirit within us and recognizing that He is within us, even in the most subtle ways. in our acts of kindness, charity. for me, and for today, i have been embroiled in the battle of my will over my flesh ~~ i have felt His presence more than ever. and without trying to sound inflated, i am giving myself some *attagirls* for coming through this trial virtually unscathed; i could not, however, do this without the Spirit within me. it amazes me that i can even function some days.
what struck me as i listened to this reading was John the Baptist's testimony about Jesus: behold the Lamb of God...He ranks ahead of me because He existed before me... now knowing that Jesus was in the womb of His mother when she went to greet John's mother, in which she (elizabeth) was in her 6th month, we know that Jesus really (in earthly terms) did not exist before John, in the pregnancy-time sense. he was speaking of how Jesus existed in the "in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God" sense. he (John) also alluded to a prior conversation with (God? an angel?) on how to identify Jesus when He appeared - my question is this: would i be able to identify Jesus when He appears?
how will i know?
we (believers) are all filled with the Holy Spirit, right? do i see Him in my neighbor? my brother and sister? my husband? how about the clerk who is less than capable (in my not so humble opinion, obviously) at her job and i lose my patience with her - is Jesus in her? how do i correct my way of thinking before it's too late?
Lord help me recognize You in everyone i see and please, God - help others see less of me and more of You. amen.
now, let us skip to the the bigger question: when the time comes, will He recognize me?