Monday, January 12, 2009

Hunger for Christ’s increasing presence

Sunday, January 11, 2009
Mark 1:7-11

“One mightier than I is coming after me…”

AS the story goes, this governor arrived late at a barbecue. He was already very hungry as me moved down the serving line and received one piece of chicken. The governor said to the serving lady, "Excuse me, do you mind if I get another piece of chicken? I'm very hungry."
The woman replied, "Sorry, I'm supposed to give one piece to each person."
He repeated, "But I'm starved," and again she said, "Only one to a customer."
The governor, normally a modest man, decided it was time to push his weight,
"Madam, do you know who I am? I am the governor of this state!"
She answered, "Do you know who I am? I'm the lady in charge of chicken! Move along, mister."

Well, that lady in charge of chicken certainly knew her position and wouldn’t be intimidated.

In today’s Gospel, we see that John the Baptist certainly knew his position as well. He wasn’t a person that could be intimidated too, as we all know he even bravely opposed Herod. John was already getting famous in his ministry, but he knew where he stood as he said:

“One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals.".

For all his persistence and boldness, John has no problem diminishing himself while acknowledging the mighty presence of Jesus Christ. In fact, he delights in the emergence of Christ's ministry. He was full of joy just being in Jesus' shadow.

In the material world, the mark of maturity is when we increase in physical size, prominence and social status. In the spiritual world, the mark of maturity is when we decrease ourselves so Christ's presence grows. The more Christ increases in us, the more powerful witnesses we become for Him. The more we magnify Christ, the more everything else becomes smaller: our insecurities, our problems, and our pains. Then, like John, we would experience true joy.

As to the governor, he might have gotten luckier if he just humbly asked for a larger piece of chicken.
*xposted at CatholicFriends

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