There seems to be something embedded deep within the human person that makes us want to solve problems. In all the plethora of conundra that we are confronted with in our lives we spend quite a bit, if not the majority of our time trying to find solutions for our problems. And we tend to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to solve other people’s problems too...or at least we seem to take great joy in pointing them out to them.
And it's for all those reasons that today's feast is a good one for us to celebrate. The birthday of John the Baptist.
John the Baptist knew an important thing that we too need to remember. He knew that he wasn't the savior. That’s something we can struggle to admit to ourselves sometimes.
Because like John, we too are not the savior. We are not the savior of the problems of our world. We are not the savior of the problems of our nation. We are not the savior of the problems in our families, in our marriages. We are not the savior of the problems at work, or in our parish, or in our personal lives. We are quite simply not the savior of anything. We should write that down somewhere and look at it every day – because we tend to forget it so very quickly. And that’s such an important lesson we get from the Baptist.
John spent his entire life pointing to the real Savior and knowing that it was not he. He spent his life preaching repentance, talking about making a straight and clear path in our lives for God, a path unencumbered by the greatest obstacle of human pride. And in one of the greatest lines of sacred scripture, John points at Jesus and says ‘he must increase I must decrease.’
When we look at our problems, our struggles, all the challenges of this life, we need to remember that yes indeed we have a savior from all of it – and that savior is not us. It’s Jesus, and only Jesus. When we order our lives around anything other than that, we are so incredibly disordered.
Jesus must increase. We must decrease. Because however good we may think we are, we cannot save ourselves. May God give us the grace to actually let Jesus save us, in all the ways in which we need to be saved, but perhaps most of all, may we allow Jesus to save us from ourselves. God help us all +