Are you the one…or should we look for another?

 

The question of John regarding the truth of Jesus as Messiah is also a question that may be ours.

 

The key to understand this question is in the beginning of today’s Gospel, which indicates that John is in prison. The Baptist is suffering the injustice of prison for preaching the Gospel. The Jewish messianic conception includes liberation of captives, but this specific event is not fulfilled in Jesus, and John is still in prison.

 

Is John in error because he is expecting liberation? Of course not! Every one of us agrees that relief from all kinds of affliction is a good. But is the Messiah the One who does this for us? This is the question of many, who in their suffering wonder about the nature, the presence or the very existence of God.  They ask: “Where is God?” This is similar to the inquiry of the Baptist.  But the question of John is deeper than asking to be liberated; his goes to the nature of the Messiah and the nature of the salvation He brought.

 

In our time and in our own language, we get frustrated when God does not help us in the ways we expect, especially in the most challenging events in our lives: when we experience sickness, death, or injustice. And to understand the role of Jesus in our lives in moments such as these is one of the most difficult things for us.

 

The Messiah we are waiting for is the one who frees us from our sins and, in doing so, gives us the strength we need to face all of the moments of our lives. The answer to the initial question is this: Yes, Jesus is the One whom we are expecting, the One whom we are waiting for, because no other can give the things He gives, and no one can fill our hearts in the way He does.

As we approach Christmas, may we receive the real Messiah, and not wait for another, for only in Him can we find salvation, peace, and joy.

Fr. Sergio