14 January 2017


isaiah 49:3, 5-6; 1 corinthians 1:1-3; john 1:29-34

someone asked a missionary whether he liked what he was doing. his response was shocking: «do i like this work? no! i do not like dirt. i have reasonable refined sensibilities. i do not like crawling into dirty huts through dung…» he listed all the difficulties he endured. 
he continued: «but is a person to do nothing for christ he/she does not like? liking or disliking has nothing to do with it. i have orders to ‘go’ and i go. love impels me.»

today’s liturgy emphasises that love impels every christian missionary.
the first reading (the second servant song from isaiah) states that GOD forms his servant to bring back jacob and israel to himself, and to be a light to the nations.
in the second reading, paul affirms that he is «called to be an apostle of christ jesus». reading through the acts of the apostles and paul’s letters, it is clear that paul feels impelled to be an apostle. he has orders to «go» and he does… despite hardships and tribulation.
in the gospel, john the baptist spells out his mission: to reveal jesus to israel and to testify that he is the son of GOD. the fact that he did not know jesus is irrelevant; he «had» to witness to him.

love impels us! 
do i allow love to impel me? or do my likes/dislikes prevent me from witnessing to GOD’s love?
how will i be a light to «the nations»? how will reveal jesus to people around me?