MK 1: 1-8


Why do we remember John the Baptist during Advent? Why do we celebrate his birthday in our liturgy every year? Why do we hold a festivity of water revelry in his honor in our country? John the Baptist, despite not having the chance for an intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and not being bestowed with the title of an “apostle,” played a significant role in the Christian narrative. Jesus referred to him as his “friend of the bridegroom” (John 3:29) and praised John as the greatest of all the prophets and the greatest among those born of women (Matthew 11:11).

John the Baptist’s primary role was to prepare the way for the Lord. He preached repentance to ready people’s hearts for the coming of Jesus. He pointed to Jesus as the “Lamb of God who takes away sins” and initiated Jesus into his mission by baptizing him in the Jordan River. He humbly stepped aside when the Lord’s time had come. In essence, John served as a shining light that offered comfort and consolation. He provided encouragement to those who had lost hope, illuminated a path from darkness to light and freedom, and offered clarity to those who were confused. He consoled, comforted, and encouraged people.

We are all called to emulate John the Baptist by sowing seeds of peace, joy, reconciliation, and hope in our world today. Many people are grappling with fear, depression, self-pity, and grief due to wars, divisions, conflict, misinformation, and shattered hopes. In this season of waiting, we need more individuals who can accompany others, letting them feel loved and remembered by God.


As people start thinking about and preparing for gifts, perhaps the most precious gift we can offer to those around us is the gift of comfort and consolation, much like John did. Can you be a friend of the bridegroom – a friend to those who are sick, sad, confused, and without hope? All it takes is a smile, a friendly call or message, a word of forgiveness, a warm embrace, or a simple moment of presence.

“In these days leading up to Christmas, the birth of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, let us pray for peace in the world’s war-torn regions, and let us become instruments of peace in our homes and communities LET US PRAY FOR PEACE IN MARAWI AND IN THE ENTIRE PHILIPPINES.”