1 John 5: 5-13
Mark 1: 6-11 


We continue to hear about the role of John the Baptist in preparing the way for Jesus and his ministry. Jesus travelled from Nazareth to Galilee and was baptised by John. In all his preparations John pointed to the coming of the messiah and in John’s baptism of Jesus the Holy Spirit confirmed Jesus; ministry as ‘of God’. This was a great ‘identity moment’ for Jesus.

The role of John the Baptist as one who sets the scene, who prepares the way … and then is no more … is often seen today. Many people work hard behind the scenes, suffer hardship for the greater good, and are willing to step (or be pushed) aside for the good of others. Do our actions reflect our belief in Jesus and his teachings? Or do they focus attention on ourselves?

Henri Nouwen said that it is crucial not to allow ourselves to be paralysed by feelings of impotence or guilt but rather to be faithful in doing well the few things that we are each called to do, and hold on to the joy and peace they bring us. Keeping fixed on Jesus and on those who followed him, we can trust that each of us will know how to live out our mission and be a sign of hope in our world.

Real greatness is often hidden, humble, simple and unobtrusive. It is not easy to trust ourselves and our actions without public affirmation. We need to have strong self-confidence combined with deep humility. Never think that what one has to offer is insignificant. There will always be someone out there who needs what you have to give.

Pam Storey is a member of the Passionist Faith Community at Holy Cross, Templestowe, and one of the founding members of Passionist Companions. After a very active and varied family, church and working life, Pam is now focusing on developing a slow spirituality.