Our Life’s Purpose: God’s Will

John 1: 19-28
1Jn. 2:22-28 / Psa 98:1-4

Who are you? . . . What do you have to say for yourself?
(John 1: 22)

Who we are is not as important
As the purpose of our mission;
It must be God’s will, not what we want
That rules our life’s resolution.

When the Jews sent to John priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” he admitted, and did not deny, and he confessed, “I am not the Christ.” And they asked him, “What are you then, Elijah?” And he said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” They said to him, “Who are you, so that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you have to say for yourself?” He said, “I am the voice of one crying in the desert, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.” Some Pharisees were also sent. And they asked him, “Why then are you baptizing, if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” John answered them saying, “I baptize in water, but among you stands One whom you do not know. It is He who comes after me, whose sandal straps I am not worthy to untie.” These things took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing (John 1:19-28).

Reflection

In today’s Gospel, it is clear that St. John the Baptist was putting the focus on Jesus. As we begin this year, let us focus our mind on our life’s primary purpose — to proclaim Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and to live our lives according to His values and ideals. It is not enough just to accept Him into our life as our inspiration and ideal. We have the example of St. John the Baptist to follow, even in our own little way. We can never be worthy to “untie his sandal straps,” because our salvation is largely through the mercy of God, but we must at least follow in the footsteps of St. John by pointing others to Jesus Christ. Because unless we acknowledge Him, we may well be denying Him. And as John the apostle wrote in his first letter, (the first reading), “No one who denies the Son has the Father, but whoever confesses the Son has the Father as well” (1 Jn 2:23).

John the Baptist preached repentance. Let us reflect on our sins of the past year and resolve never to fall into those sins again. This is the true path of repentance that we must take if we must follow our Savior. May the Holy Spirit be with us as we begin another phase of our journey – to guide us in the right paths according to the Father’s will.

I do believe today’s Gospel message is really meant for all of us who are led by the Holy Spirit. St. John was noted for his humility, and this should be our foremost aspiration as we strive for perfection. Let’s get rid of “me” if we have to serve the Lord well this year and for the rest of our life. We are certainly not as important as what God intends for us to become. The only thing that is more important than anything in our life is to know what His will for us is. This must be our New Year’s Resolution. No, it should be our whole Life’s Resolution!

Father, Your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus has taught us all that we need to know in the Gospel, but at times, being human, we tend to forget our true purpose in life. Let Your Spirit keep us focused in our life mission always, employing and empowering us as Your instruments in passing on Your messages of love to others. Grant O Lord that we may always be reminded that the message is more important than the messenger. Amen.

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