The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.”
And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.”
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.
At midnight, August 31,1963, at the Minneapolis airport, I was looking for a man carrying a copy of America magazine. I was flying from California to enter the Jesuit novitiate outside of St. Paul, and my contact was the father of one of the second year novices, who’d drive me out there in the morning. I didn’t know what he looked like but I knew that, if I found the man with the magazine, he would be the one I was looking for.
In the gospel for today, John the Baptist was looking for the Messiah, and he knew the sign would be that the Holy Spirit would come upon the Messiah. So, when John saw that happening to Jesus, he knew Jesus was the one he was waiting for.
Can we, too, recognize the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives and in the lives of others? St. Paul tells us there are signs that the Holy Spirit is present. (You can find them listed in Galatians 5:22 and 23). When we see them, we can recognize that we are in touch with what we are really looking for?
—Fr. Frank Majka, S.J., a Wisconsin Jesuit, is engaged in pastoral ministry at Marquette University High School in Milwaukee.
Lord, we ask for the awareness of the Holy Spirit in our daily life. May the Spirit also guide us to look upon our actions and motives with honesty and patience. We ask that that the Spirit gives us the freedom to review our day without condemnation and without complacency. And when we need wisdom to make a decision, work through a conflict, or discern a pathway, may we pray, ”Come, Holy Spirit.”
—The Jesuit Prayer Team