Wednesday, January 12, 2011

True Humility is recognising one's Mission

Second Ordinary Sunday Year A

“Look, there is the lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.” This is how John the Baptist pointed out Jesus to his own disciples. This action of John truly reveals his humility.

John the Baptist is described by Jesus in another gospel passage as the greatest man to be born of a woman. In other words, in the eyes of Jesus, John was the greatest of the prophets. In fact, many believed him to have been Elijah – one and the same person- who has returned to prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah. Historically, John the Baptist must really have been a famous figure who had many followers. This is the reason why he is mentioned in all gospel stories and in the Acts of the Apostles.

Now, this man of such great spiritual power steps back and gives way to the One whom he has been waiting for. This is true humility. Humility is not denying one’s gifts or talents. Humility is not telling others that one is bad. No. True humility is recognizing one’s mission and purpose in life. At the end of today’s gospel, John tells us his mission: “I have seen and I am the witness that he is the Chosen One of God.”

This too is our mission – to be witnesses for Christ. We need to point others to the true “light of the nations.” We need to point others to “the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.” We should not be drawing attention to ourselves. Being a Christian is not a popularity contest. There is always the temptation to seek glory for ourselves – to claim credit for the grace of God. If we are not careful, we may start thinking that we can solve all the problems of the world.

Pride makes us forget about God. Pride makes us think that we are in control. Pride makes us forget our true identity – that we are sons and daughters of God, loved by God not because we are worthy but because God is compassionate. Pride makes us think that we can achieve happiness all by ourselves without any help from anyone or from God.

True humility is recognizing our true identity and mission in this world. We are servants not masters. We are apostles, not the One who sends. We are ministers of God’s salvation, not saviors.

Let us in this mass continue to thank God for the gift of knowing Jesus. Let us keep our eyes fixed on him for he has come so that God’s “salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”

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