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St. John the Baptist’s Radical Humility

This is such an exciting time in the Church’s Calendar. Advent!

I like to see it as an ‘ADVENTure’ to prepare our hearts to await our Lord Jesus Christ.

In this upcoming Sunday Gospel, we will hear the story of St. John the Baptist appearing in the desert, baptizing people in the Jordan River. This is what he proclaimed:

“One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (Mark 1:7-8).

John the Baptist was preparing the way for our Lord Jesus Christ. But, what if instead of doing that, he had taken all the credit for himself?

Resisting Temptation Through Humility

It doesn’t sound too difficult to imagine that. He is a human. People are coming to him, and are seeking his help. They are confessing their sins to him. He is being talked about throughout the land. I can imagine it being a temptation to want to seek glory for himself. Worse yet, he could have taken his influence and led others away, following John’s every word as the source of revelation.

However, as a saint, he directed his power and prestige towards humbling himself and guiding others to Jesus Christ.

Understanding this role of St. John the Baptist helps me to not merely see him as just another person mentioned in the Bible but as an early example of humility.

Preparing the way of the Lord means accepting the gift of humility. St. Thomas Aquinas defines humility as,

“Seeing ourselves as God sees us: knowing every good we have comes from Him as pure gift” (Summa Q161).

Humility and Hopelessness in Today’s World

Humility plays a role in not only reducing the temptation to give glory to ourselves but also in reducing our hopelessness. For in today’s world with 24-hour news cycles and news every time we open our social media apps, it can feel disheartening to see all the evil and scandal in the world, and not feel we can do anything about it.

But we can! We can serve in our capacity that we are able to do the most immediate good, and we can pray and humbly reflect on the fact that God is in control. Humility of heart means recognizing that we are not able to change everything wrong with the world, but that we are also only called to do what we are called to do. As St. Teresa of Calcutta said,

“We can do no great things, only small things with great love.”

For this ‘Adventure’, let us continue to grow in humility in all its forms, as we await the most wonderful time of the year.

St. John the Baptist, pray for us!

Daniel Quintero is a stand-up comedian currently attending Mary, Mother of the Church Catholic Parish. His favorite motto: “Awkwardness does not exist.”

Answering Christ’s call, Pilgrim Center of Hope guides people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life. See what’s happening & let us journey with you! Visit