Sunday's readings guide us to grow in Jesus' ways
by Sister Elise Cholewinski
“You mean we just melt into each other?” I have been tutoring a young boy, catching him up on the religious education he has missed for a few years, and this is the question he asked me when we were discussing how we identify with Jesus at Baptism.
A special experience I had during the past month was directing a women’s Advent retreat. Our focus on the retreat was the story of the Epiphany, and in particular, on the star that guided the magi. Several of the women were wondering where the star was leading them, the women, at this point in their lives. We concluded that God’s invitation, symbolized by the star, is not about what we are to do but about who we are to become. Ultimately that Star is the Person of Jesus and we are to allow that Star to reside within ourselves.
In the first reading for this Sunday’s liturgy the Lord says through the prophet Isaiah, “I have made you a light to the nations” (Isaiah 49:6). It isn’t enough to gaze upon Jesus, to admire Him, to imitate Him, or even to walk in His light. What we believe outwardly needs to be internalized; we are called to become Jesus.
As John the Baptist, in today’s Gospel (John 1:29-34), reflects on Jesus’ baptism and testifies that He is the Son of God, so we need to reflect on our own baptism and witness to Him whom we are spending our lifetime becoming. As Jesus and we “melt into each other”, what a burst of light is shed upon the world!