I myself did not know him

Greetings on this the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings: Is 49:3, 5-6; Ps 40:2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10; 1 Cor 1:1-3; Jn 1:29-34
Notes: John said this twice in the account of the baptism of the Lord.

I myself did not know him.

There is a mystery in this statment worthy of today’s consideration.

John did know Jesus certainly.
Elizabeth was visited Mary and John leapt in the womb at the sound of Mary’s voice.
Mary helped Elizabeth birth John (sympathetic reading of the scripture).

Taking a step back.

The baptism of the Lord is accounted for in each of the four Gospels.

We celebrated the Baptism of the Lord in Guatemala City on Sunday and in the USA on Monday past.
On this second Sunday of Ordinary Time we encounter the Gospel of John’s account of the baptism.

There are slight variations between the accounts each giving a more profound accounting theologically than the one written before. Using progressive elaboration is a common theme in the divine-human exchange and most delightful when seeing the process play out over the development of the gospel accounts themselves.

One example to illustrate. ok?


  • Gospel of Mark – the first of the gospels – the Spirit descended upon him like a dove.
  • Gospel of Matthew – the second gospel – the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighted on him.
  • Gospel of Luke – the third gospel – the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form, as a dove.
  • Gospel of John – the last gospel – I saw the Spirit descend as a dove from heaven, and it remained on him.

There are many such examples in this very brief but impactful sacred scripture.


  • All four indicate the Trinity by the Father’s voice, the Sonship and the Spirit.
  • This is my beoved Son, with whom I am well pleased (three accounts, slight and important differences).
  • The Spirit, the Spirit of God and the Holy Spirit.

This is why we can make summary statements about the baptism taking into account the totality of the baptism accounts provided. For today, let us look at just one more and it will be the basis of the homily.

Where From?

  • Gospel of Mark – the first of the gospels – Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee.
  • Gospel of Matthew – the second gospel – Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordon to John.
  • Gospel of Luke – the third gospel – Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized.
  • Gospel of John – the last gospel – After me comes a man who ranks before me, for he was before me (eternal).

The gospel of John adds:

  • Lamb of God.
  • Son of God.
  • Witness to divinity (preexistence).
  • Jesus is the baptizer of the Holy Spirit.
  • I did not know him.

What follows?

  • Mark – Tempation of Jesus.
  • Matthew – Temptation of Jesus.
  • Luke – Genealogy of Jesus and the temptation of Jesus.
  • John – Calling of the disciples and the ‘conclusion’ of the temptation Heavens open and Angels (See Jn 1:51)

First reading
The Servant of the Lord (Salvation for the Jew and Gentile alike)

It is too little, the LORD says, for you to be my servant, to raise up the tribes of and restore the survivors of Israel;


I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.

Responsorial Psalm
Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.

“In the written scroll it is prescribed for me, to do your will, O my God, is my delight, and your law is within my heart!”

Second reading
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Alleluia Verse
The Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us. To those who accepted him, he gave power to become children of God.

Gospel Portion
Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.

I did not know him.
I did not know him.

the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain, he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.

Just like Simeon in the Gospel of Luke, John received insight as to how to know him.

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.”

God reveals.

  • John knew Jesus as man and as Lamb of God – though he wondered what that meant.
  • John knew Jesus as Suffering Servant, The Ideal Davidic King, and Messiah after his visitation.

There are seven weeks in Ordinary Time before we begin Lent Season.

Now is the perfect time to come to know Jesus:

  • Know him as a man walking the Earth.
  • Know him as friend and join his pilgrimage.
  • Know him as Lamb.
  • Know him as King.
  • Know him as Messiah.
  • Know him as suffering.

Let the Lord speak to you of him.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

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