This week’s gospel gave me pause. John and Jesus were cousins. Granted, they were cousins who lived quite a distance from each other but I can’t imagine that Mary would not have made a tremendous effort to see Elizabeth and Zechariah after the babies were born. After all, she had traveled a great distance while pregnant just to be with Elizabeth and share her story. Families often came together when they traveled to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover every year; would they not have played together while their parents visited and caught up on family news? Yet, John says, “I did not know him.”
In truth, John’s knowledge of Jesus was limited until he came to fully understand who Jesus was in the plan of God and what that meant for John in God’s plan. He knew Jesus, but he didn’t KNOW Jesus. Even John had to experience a conversion moment before he truly recognized Jesus as his Lord and Savior – as the Lamb sent to save the world. John had to be willing to let go of his preconceived image of Jesus in order to truly KNOW him as the Son of God. And, so it is with me. I try to fashion Jesus in an image that is comfortable for me, one that doesn’t’ necessarily stretch me to be more than I am. Until I am willing to give myself over fully, without conditions, I do not KNOW him. Of what must I let go to truly know Jesus?
Sister Danielle Jacob, CSFN