Almighty and eternal God,
you are high above us in the heavens, and yet you are so near to me. I know that you love me
infinitely. I rest in your love; I find my strength and hope in you alone. Thank you for loving me
despite my sinfulness and complete unworthiness. In return, I offer you my whole self, along with my
intense desire to put you first in my life.
Jesus meek and humble
of heart, make my heart more like yours.
1. One Mightier Than I Is Coming:
John knows who he is not. Proper self-knowledge is an essential step on the path to sanctity.
John is attracting the attention of the multitudes in Israel. Many people would be flattered or even
intoxicated with this notoriety. Yet John is not grasping for power, nor does he seek to be someone
he is not. He is preparing people's hearts for the true Christ. The Evil One will continually try to
get us to look to ourselves and our own talents in an attempt to distract our eyes from God and his
plan for us. John gives us a shining example of the triumph of humble self-knowledge over the wiles
of the devil. When we are totally oriented toward God, we give rise to the desire to eliminate from
our personal life any lie, vanity, and inflated opinion of ourselves. We begin to live in the truth,
giving all the gifts God has granted us their real value. We use them for the service of his
Kingdom, without taking anything for ourselves, since everything is his.
2. I Am Not
Worthy to Loosen the Thongs of His Sandals:
There is no holiness without humility. Simply
understood, humility means living in the truth. This humility is born of a proper understanding of
our relationship to God. It has nothing to do with a lack of self-respect Jesus was humble,
yet with utter self-possession and strength! Humility is the awareness that even our greatest
talents come from God and are meant for his glory. In the end though, even John's humility will pale
in comparison to the humility that Jesus models for us in his life. "The one who serves does not
consider himself superior to the one served, however miserable his situation at the moment may be.
Christ took the lowest place in the world the cross and by this radical humility he redeemed
us and constantly comes to our aid" (Pope Benedict XVI, God Is Love, 35). Once again we see that
Jesus asks of us only what he himself has been willing to embrace. He is the source of the strength
I need to practice this humility in my daily life.
3. Jesus Was Also Baptized:
being baptized, Jesus associates himself with sinful humanity. He has taken our flesh in the
Incarnation. Now he sets out on the path of taking our sins upon himself so that he might redeem us
from them. If it was a scandal for the Jewish people that God would become a man, how much more
scandalous was it that he would be baptized, a manifest sign of repentance for sins? So great is
God's love for us that even this act is not beneath him. It is one of many steps by which he will
allow his love for us to lead him even to the ignominy of the cross. Have I truly contemplated how
important I am to Jesus?
Conversation with Christ:
Blessed Lord, you went to
the extreme of the cross to prove
your love for me. You have borne my pride, and with your
love and humility, you have proven yourself stronger than my
greatest sin. Give me the
strength and courage to follow you
down the path of self-giving and humble service to those
Free me from the shackles of pride.
Today I will
read and reflect upon the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraphs 1262-1270.