‘A greater than John the Baptist has never been seen.’
Today Jesus pays his cousin a high, public compliment: “A greater than John the Baptist has never been seen.” Why did Jesus rate him so highly? Because John was the last of the Old Testament’s prophets, the one to immediately precede the Messiah, the one chosen to prepare the way for the Christ.
Jesus then goes on to say: “yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he is.” With no money, or power or title, we the present-day disciples are the least. Why are we also greater then? Because we have seen the salvation of the Lord. We are witnesses to the cross, His death and His resurrection. We are witnesses to the extent of His great love for us, and beneficiaries of His Holy Spirit.
By virtue of our baptism, we too are called to be prophets, to announce the Lord, proclaim the truth of God’s ways and to call back those who have gone astray. Let us embrace that call this Advent.