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In Sunday's (December 5, 2022) Gospel reading (Matthew 3:1-12), John the Baptist tells the crowd, "One who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals."

Sometimes we need to listen to those, like John the Baptist, who know Jesus intimately, in spite of how they may appear to us. John the Baptist came from the desert, wearing "clothing made of camel's hair" with "a leather belt around his waist", and ate "locusts and wild honey." Yet he knew Jesus (remember he lept for joy in Elizabeth's womb when Mary visited) better than the Pharisees and Sadducees who came to check him out. But John, with all these people coming to see him, is humble - recognizing Jesus is mightier, and he is not worthy.

When it comes to serving our neighbors, especially in volunteering in our communities, I wonder if we need to listen to John the Baptist. Would listening to his words provide us with an attitude of humility? When we look at our neighbor, can we see John reminding us that Jesus, looking at us through our neighbor, is mightier? Are we worthy to serve Jesus in our neighbors?

In that light, consider these challenge questions for this week:

Who is someone like John the Baptist in your life?

How might you be unworthy to serve?

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