2nd Sunday In Ordinary Time, Jan. 19, 2014

Written by Fr. Fitz Friday, 17 January 2014 09:36


What do John the Baptist and a college basketball player have in common?

Ethan Wragge is one of the best three point shooters  I college basetball. In a recent game he shot three three pointers within one minute of play! His coach lauds him as the ultimate team player for Creighton University. In a game last year the coach called him off the bench to substitute him. Instead, Ethan said, "Not now coach cuz the other player has such a hot hand!" The coach proclaimed: "How many players would do that? This guy really cares about the final score of the game." [ And not his own glory.]

And so it was with John the Baptist who makes a dramatic entrance into Jesus ife in today's Gospel. He cared about the end game, not his own glory. Scripture scholars explain that in his day, John had a "hot hand" in today's basketball parlance. He was a big deal and might easily have eclipsed the fame of Jesus. Yet in todays Gospel, he steps back and points to Jesus and proclaims:

"Behold the Lamb of God!"


HUMILITY should be in lower caps. But in this era of hubris like the Wolf of Wall Street and the stupid and arrogant political hacks who have a bridge to barter, humility is not in style.

We live in a time of ego inflation and self promotion.

Not so for John the Baptist who stepped aside and "made straight the way of the Lord."

True enough, we have to write our resumes just to get employment. So how do we manage to walk the path of John, rather than climb the mountain of hubris?

Perhaps by reaizing that everything is a gift and whatever gifts we possess are on loan. Andrew Greeley was a brilliant, gifted writer. Yet on one moment's time, his coach catching on a car door and him falling to the pavment and his head hitting the curb, his writing talent, but not his life, at that instant came to an end.

"Sic transit Gloria mundi!" was a phrase uttered before monarchs as flax was burned in front of them. So passes the glory of the world!

Humility is really an awareness of the grand scheme of things and realizing that we are not gods and in control of everything. Rather, we are wounded wayfarers, in need of salvation which is a gift from the Lamb of God. Sometimes we forget and believe we can control everything around us. 

John the Baptist walked the path of letting go, and letting be.

To walk his path, we take up our cross daily and "behold the Lamb of God." who has com o save us.

Breakfast Question: Can we sometimes be proud of being humble?

Personal Reflection: What do I need to let go of?