First reading 1 John 2:22-28

The anointing he gave you teaches you everything

The man who denies that Jesus is the Christ –
he is the liar,
he is Antichrist;
and he is denying the Father as well as the Son,
because no one who has the Father can deny the Son,
and to acknowledge the Son is to have the Father as well.
Keep alive in yourselves what you were taught in the beginning:
as long as what you were taught in the beginning is alive in you,
you will live in the Son
and in the Father;
and what is promised to you by his own promise
is eternal life.
This is all that I am writing to you about the people who are trying to lead you astray.
But you have not lost the anointing that he gave you,
and you do not need anyone to teach you;
the anointing he gave teaches you everything;
you are anointed with truth, not with a lie,
and as it has taught you, so you must stay in him.
Live in Christ, then, my children,
so that if he appears, we may have full confidence,
and not turn from him in shame
at his coming.
 
 

Responsorial Psalm Psalm 97(98):1-4

All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
 
Sing a new song to the Lord
  for he has worked wonders.
His right hand and his holy arm
  have brought salvation.
 
The Lord has made known his salvation;
  has shown his justice to the nations.
He has remembered his truth and love
  for the house of Israel.
 
All the ends of the earth have seen
  the salvation of our God.
Shout to the Lord, all the earth,
  ring out your joy.
 
 

Gospel John 1:19-28

‘One is coming after me who existed before me’

This is how John appeared as a witness. When the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ he not only declared, but he declared quite openly, ‘I am not the Christ.’ ‘Well then,’ they asked ‘are you Elijah?’ ‘I am not’ he said. ‘Are you the Prophet?’ He answered, ‘No.’ So they said to him, ‘Who are you? We must take back an answer to those who sent us. What have you to say about yourself?’ So John said, ‘I am, as Isaiah prophesied:
 
a voice that cries in the wilderness:
Make a straight way for the Lord.’
 
Now these men had been sent by the Pharisees, and they put this further question to him, ‘Why are you baptising if you are not the Christ, and not Elijah, and not the prophet?’ John replied, ‘I baptise with water; but there stands among you – unknown to you – the one who is coming after me; and I am not fit to undo his sandal-strap.’ This happened at Bethany, on the far side of the Jordan, where John was baptising.
 
 
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Being who we truly are

It is impactful when we see someone, like John the Baptist, remaining true to his/her identity even in the face of temptations and challenges. He was deeply aware that he was not the Messiah but Christ’s own witness. As such, he did not lead the people astray and was able to be an effective instrument in leading others not to himself but to Jesus.
 
What about us? Are we also aware of who we are called to be? None of us is the saviour of the world, but each of us is called to be like John the Baptist, an effective witness of Jesus so that others can come to know and have a personal encounter with Jesus. We do this by loving those whom we meet daily. We look out for what is in their best interest, even if it means dying to our pride, foregoing our own gains or going the extra mile on our part. Then, we become who we truly are: God’s own instruments who bring the presence of Emmanuel, God-with-us, to the lives of many.
 
Reflective question:
How can I be God’s instrument today?
 
 
Acknowledgment: Reflections are based on “Prayer for Living: The Word of God for Daily Prayer Year B” by Sr Sandra Seow FMVD.