Gospel – John 1:6-8, 19-28
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 and did not deny it, but 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.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church
718 John is “Elijah [who] must come. ”The fire of the Spirit dwells in him and makes him the forerunner of the coming Lord. In John, the precursor, the Holy Spirit completes the work of [making] ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
719 John the Baptist is “more than a prophet.” In him, the Holy Spirit concludes his speaking through the prophets. John completes the cycle of prophets begun by Elijah. He proclaims the imminence of the consolation of Israel; he is the “voice” of the Consoler who is coming. As the Spirit of truth will also do, John “came to bear witness to the light.” In John’s sight, the Spirit thus brings to completion the careful search of the prophets and fulfills the longing of the angels. “He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God…. Behold, the Lamb of God.”
720 Finally, with John the Baptist, the Holy Spirit begins the restoration to man of “the divine likeness,” prefiguring what he would achieve with and in Christ. John’s baptism was for repentance; baptism in water and the Spirit will be a new birth. “Rejoice, you who are full of grace!”
From “The Visible Face of the Invisible God” Testimony of Catalina Rivas (Chpt.-1:21-25)
21) John feels an immense sweetness that envelopes him, an energy which is known, yet at the same time unknown to him in its full magnitude. John knows that He is arriving… and announces Him…
22) “I baptize you with water, and that is the way to conversion. But after me comes another, with much more power than I – I am not even worthy to carry his sandals – he will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and in fire. His shovel is already in his hands, to separate the wheat from the chaff. He will store the grain in his granaries, while the chaff he will burn in the ever burning fire.”
23) At that moment John says that another with much more power will come; he publicly acknowledges that the One who comes is above himself. He knows that the One who comes will be capable of making His followers feel secure, since He is someone who responds to the hopes of a humanity that wishes for a better world. Only He who is full of the Holy Spirit is able to baptize with the power Holy Spirit, and it will be that same Spirit who will lead Jesus throughout His mission.
24) Finally will John be able to lay eyes on Him; finally will his mission be crowned. But, what would He look like? Would he be able to recognize Him…? John raises his eyes toward heaven and the sun blinds him for a moment, but right away it hides again behind dense clouds. Would that have been a sign of what was to come? He does not know; he feels confused. Yet a force, a superhuman energy surrounds him. John feels like singing, like screaming, like shaking up all of those people. He wishes he could tell them all that he is feeling, and… he again hears: “the hour has come; John, prepare your spirit.”
25) After baptizing a nearly elderly man, John feels something like an electric current of energy that shakes him. He looks straight up and sees Jesus, his relative… The astonishment is reflected in his face, but the eyes in Jesus’ look have told him everything.
Each week we will be presenting a portion of the following Sunday’s readings, and linking it to relevant parts of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and messages from the Testimony of Catalina. Pay special attention to the italicized underlined sections. This Sunday it is asked, What kind of soil will you be for the word of God? We hope this is inspiring and educational. Any comments you have are certainly welcomed.
Tim Francis prepared this educational program to help you increase your faith and love for the Holy Trinity and our Blessed Mother. His website is http://YouShallBelieve.com
I have known Tim for many years and recommend his work highly. He is a strong advocate for the “The Real Body and Blood Of Jesus” and the numerous miracles that occur on a daily basis. Both of us are greatly inspired by the amazing writings of Catalina Rivas. Catalina is one of the few individuals in history who personally experienced the “Stigmata Of Jesus Christ.”