In today's gospel we learn about how John the Baptist gave witness to Jesus and how we can give witness to Jesus with our friends and family as well.
Holy Spirit, fill my heart and illuminate my mind. Help me to hear and understand God's message today. Help me to recognise when God is trying to speak to me in my daily life. Amen
A man named John was sent from God. He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to testify to the light. And this is the testimony of John.
When the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to him to ask him, “Who are you?”
He admitted “I am not the Christ.” So they asked him,“What are you then? Are you Elijah?”
And he said, “I am not.”“Are you the Prophet?”He answered, “No.”
So they said to him, “Who are you, so we can 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 out in the desert,
‘make straight the way of the Lord,’”as Isaiah the prophet said.”Some Pharisees were also sent.
They asked him,“Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ or Elijah or the Prophet?”
John answered them,“I baptize with water; but there is one among you whom you do not recognize,
the one who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.”
This happened in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntR-xmBVDcY (Credit to Catholic Kids Media)
Say to the group: There are many things that we accept on the word of other people. For example, we believe our parents and grandparents when they tell us what about what life was like when they were children. We believe the scientists who report to us the results of their observations and experiments. We believe our teachers when they teach us about the facts of history. What are some examples of things that we accept on the word of others? (Accept all reasonable answers.)
Ask the group: Why do we believe what people tell us? What makes the word of another person believable? (They have actual experience with the things that they are explaining, they have learned something we have not, or because their word to us has previously proved trustworthy.)
Say: This is also the way it is with what we believe about Jesus.
Ask: What did John the Baptist tell the Jewish leaders when they asked about his authority and preaching? (John said that he was not the Messiah or Elijah or the Prophet.) What did John the Baptist say when they asked about the baptisms that he was performing? (John said that he was baptizing in preparation for another person.) John offered this testimony about himself and about Jesus because he knew Jesus was the Son of God who was coming to save the world. He told the people that Jesus was among them even though they did not yet recognize him.
Say: The people who came to see John the Baptist believed his words to them. If we were to continue reading in John’s Gospel, we would hear how John the Baptist recognized Jesus as the Son of God when the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus. John then announced to the people that Jesus was the Lamb of God. Where do we look to hear testimony about who Jesus is? (the Bible, the Church, the people of faith in our lives) We believe these witnesses to Jesus because they have proven themselves to be trustworthy and because they witness to a person they know, Jesus.
Conclude in prayer together that you and your group will continue to grow in faith and in your ability to recognize Jesus’ presence in all aspects of life.
Father in heaven, we give you today, all that we think, and do, and say, and we join it with all that was done by Jesus Christ, your Son. Amen