Memorial of Saint Basil the Great and Saint Gregory
Nazianzen, bishops and doctors of the Church
And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent from Jerusalem priests and Levites to him, to ask him: Who art thou? And he confessed, and did not deny: and he confessed: I am not the Christ. And they asked him: What then? Art thou Elias? And he said: I am not. Art thou the prophet? And he answered: No. They said therefore unto him: Who art thou, that we may give an answer to them that sent us? What sayest thou of thyself? He said: I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Isaias. And they that were sent, were of the Pharisees. And they asked him, and said to him: Why then dost thou baptize, if thou be not Christ, nor Elias, nor the prophet? John answered them, saying: I baptize with water; but there hath stood one in the midst of you, whom you know not. The same is he that shall come after me, who is preferred before me: the latchet of whose shoe I am not worthy to loose. These things were done in Bethania, beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
John 1:19-28 (Douay-Rheims Bible)
Dear Father this is one voice that truly did your will. The one who admonishes us to make straight our ways. Yet he was paving the way for Jesus at the time. Even now his words resound throughout our Churches for us to mend our ways. To be baptized in water so we may become baptized with the Spirit. John said he wasn't worthy to untie the lace of Jesus' shoe, yet he was. How often we feel unworthy to tackle a task that is ours to tackle. How many times we push it aside and we are nudged daily or periodically to complete the task. Why is it that when God calls us to do something and we in our own negativity about ourselves refuse to see that the hand of God is prompting us to do His Will. John did God's will, but that didn't make him feel worthy to untie Jesus sandals. He had the grace to proclaim the coming Kingdom. Why is it we have a hard time even openly speaking of our faith. Who is the worthy one after all.