PRAYER FOR THE WEEK
Jesus, when I'm full of questions, help me remember to stop and listen to the answers! Amen.


John the Baptist was getting people ready for Jesus' coming, and they were confused. "Are you God, or a prophet?" they asked John. "No," John told them. "Then why are you baptizing people?" they asked. John answered, "I'm only baptizing you with water. Jesus is coming soon, and He's really God! He's so great, I don't even deserve to untie His shoes."

Christmas fills kids with questions: Exactly how did God become a baby, and why? How did the shepherds and kings find Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus in the stable? (Did the star they followed land on the roof to show them?) How does Santa fit down the chimney?

If Christmas is confusing now, think of how people felt 2,000 years ago! They hardly had anyone to teach them about who Jesus was and why He had been born.

In this week's Gospel (John 1:6-8,19-28), Jesus has grown up and is about to start teaching people about God. Since people haven't heard about Jesus yet, John the Baptist has taken the job of explaining to everyone that they need to listen to what Jesus has to say.

Like a kid at Christmas, people are full of questions: Who does John think he is, talking about God? Is John himself God, or a prophet? Who is this Jesus guy and what's so great about Him?

When you're full of questions, it can be hard to stop and listen to the answers. It's only when you really pay attention to what you hear from the adults around you, in religion class and at church, that you start to understand the story of Christmas.

Poor John had to deal with people all questioning him at once. It sounds like he handled it well, though. He said he wasn't God, but Jesus was; he said Jesus was coming soon; and he said Jesus was so awesome, John wasn't even worthy to untie His shoes.

Getting answers gets you interested in the Christmas story. John's answers got everyone interested, so they were ready to be baptized and be all set to learn from Jesus!