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.
Disclaimer: I am a huge fan of John the Baptist (JTB, as I like to say). As a Type A hippie-wannabe, I dig his free-flowing locks and his penchant for berry and locust consumption.
As a campus minister, however, I am inspired above all by the way JTB embraces his role. He has only two areas of focus: 1) “the one who sent [him] to baptize with water,” i.e. God, and 2) the one he baptized, in whom he clearly witnesses the Spirit, i.e. Jesus.
It was never about him. JTB listened deep within for the guidance of God’s voice and followed it boldly, blazing a trail for Jesus. When Jesus emerged, JTB humbly stepped aside, striving not for his own acclaim, but only to magnify the Spirit of God uniquely present in Jesus. That is good ministry.
Who are the teachers/ministers/guides in my life who have blazed the trail for me?
—Katie Davis is a former member of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and JVC Magis currently working as a Chaplain and Religious Studies teacher at Saint Ignatius College Prep in Chicago. She serves on the Advisory Board for Jesuit Connections in Chicago and the Chicago Women’s Team for the Ignatian Spirituality Project.
Prayer for Humility
Let me have too deep a sense of humor to be proud.
Let me know my absurdity before I act absurdly.
Let me realize that when I am humble I am most human,
and most worthy of your serious consideration.
—Daniel A. Lord, SJ