Two thoughts dominate the readings: first, John’s dramatic call to behold the Lamb of God; second, that we do a good personal stock-taking during this first month of the new year, look where we are going, and make the practical resolutions that might raise the quality of our lives. The Baptist urges us to ask what are we fundamentally about and then seek to reset our lives. And St Paul reminds us that we are “called to be saints together with all those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
An honest stock-taking of our spirituality may unveil the egocentric way we usually conduct our lives. To rise above this we need to recognize something outside of and larger than ourselves, the God who cares for us and for the whole human community among whom we live. Can we listen to John’s call to restore what is broken, and Jesus’ call, to bring light to the world? Do we see that it is with our cooperation that the Lamb can remove the “sin of the world?”
Facing such truths is always difficult; it calls us to not just drift along with this world’s evil, always taking the line of least resistance. Discipleship is urgent and costly, but it is also possible and is the way towards the deeper joy and fulfillment that our soul is longing for. If we properly hear the Baptist as he witnesses to Christ, our response will be a stock-taking that goes to the root of our being. It may even reveal to us the truth that sets us free.
(Adapted from ACP)