Two weeks ago we began our new liturgical year (B) when the Sunday Gospel is often from Mark. But today we already depart from Mark and hear from the Gospel of John. Why? In our Gospel, some people are questioning John the Baptist as to who he really is. The Baptist quotes Isaiah: “I am the voice of one crying in the desert, make straight the way of the Lord.” That portion of Isaiah (Is. 40) dates from late in the Babylonian exile, so around 600 BCE. The Israelites were living in captivity, in a time of despair and darkness. By putting Isaiah’s words in the Baptist’s mouth, John the evangelist is comparing that dark time in Babylon to his own era, the era into which Jesus was born, the era his readers would understand. The evangelist John says that John the Baptist was to testify to The Light. And about Jesus he says: Jesus’ life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it (Jn 1: 4-5). Light and darkness, great themes of John the Evangelist. Do you find our times dark? Areas of your life? Where is the light? Today perhaps light a candle to signify faith and hope that Christ the Light is in our lives and our world.
– Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia