This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, “I am not the Messiah.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” He answered, “No.” Then they said to him, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’” as the prophet Isaiah said. Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, “Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?” John answered them, “I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.” This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
My friend Toni’s spiritual practice is to allow a word to surface prior to each new year. She prays for guidance for a word she hopes to “grow into,” a word that will bring her closer in her relationship with God, family and the wider world. She listens attentively to divine inspiration and allows the word to “choose her.”
In today’s first reading we hear “Let what you heard from the beginning remain in you.” As we begin this new year, what have we heard? What is the word within that is beckoning … teasing … challenging us? The Word Who is Life, Light and Love invites us to incarnate life, light and love well beyond this Christmas season. Are we up to the task of listening and attuning ourselves to the Word in 2017?
As God’s dear children, confident and trusting, may we remain united in this Word Who is Life!
—Susan Kusz, SND serves as Associate Director at the Jesuit Retreat House in Oshkosh, WI.
“Now, draw near, and from this pure and sacred book and in these God-inspired words find sustenance for your soul. Here you shall behold the ministers of truth proclaim the word of life in a voice that pierces through to very heaven itself.”
—A prayer of St. Gregory Nazianzen to be offered before reading Sacred ScripturePlease share the Good Word with your friends!