Have We Failed to Love?

“Make a straight way for the Lord.” In today’s Gospel, John the Baptist quoted Isaiah in reference to his role. His is a baptism of water and repentance, and he acknowledges that repentance is only the first step to our conversion.

“One is coming after me, and I am not fit to undo his sandal strap,” he continued. Jesus’ baptism is the next logical step after the repentance that John urged his followers. It is the acknowledgment that God is in our midst, the Emmanuel. It is also a commitment to love in a manner that goes beyond our human limitations. As this daunting challenge is humanly insurmountable, we are given the Spirit to remain faithful to this commitment.

As we begin a new year, this is a most relevant reminder for all of us. In what ways have we failed to love, as we are called to do so? This could take the form of a bad habit or an ineffective pattern of relating to others. It could also manifest itself in our biases and prejudices against an individual or a group of people. For some of us, it could be in the more subtle thoughts that we harbor against other people. As we acknowledge our sinfulness, whether in small or major ways, we can respond to John and “make a straight way for the Lord.”

  • Laura K

    Jesus’ baptism was not the next logical step after the repentance that John urged his followers. Jesus did not need to repent because he was without sin, but he was baptized to fulfill what was right, it was the right thing to do. Jesus loved his Father and wanted to please him, to be obedient to him and maybe to go a little further to please his Father than he had to, because he was already without sin. Our Father in heaven is of course not human, but a human father’s heart is full and is practically beaming when their child on their own accord, shows their Father that they had been listening to what he taught them in their childhood. Jesus listened to His Father and of his own accord did the right thing, showing his Father he had listened to him, and loved him enough to do what was pleasing in His eyes. Jesus never failed to love his Father and us too!

  • Laura K

    Ps. This has more to do with tomorrow’s gospel than today’s.

  • Laura K

    My apologies. I looked at the wrong date for the scriptures tomorrow. But John may have called Jesus the lamb of God after experiencing God’s presence when he baptized The Lord.