"Who are you?" . . . "I am not the Christ" (John 1:20).
When I first read these words uttered by Saint John the Baptist, it's the feast of Christ the King that comes to my mind. It's one of my favorites. The feast was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925 in his encyclical, "Quas Primas." Pope Pius XI was responding to the fact that the world was becoming nationalistic and secular, so he created this feast to help the faithful remember who Christ is: our King, and that our allegiance is to Him above any other thing or person (at the time, particularly any government or nation).
To take things a little closer to home, the reason this feast day stands out so much when faced with this question and this answer is because I recognize that sometimes I want things done my way and I seek that out—my will, my desires, my happiness, instead of seeking Christ and what He has to say about my life.
When I do that, if Jesus or anyone else were to ask, "Who are you?" I can say, at fault, that I'm trying to act like the ruler, or king, of my life—like what I say and want is the most important. In doing so, I'm not living out my belief that Jesus is Christ—that He is my King, and that I am His beloved daughter.
John the Baptist gives us a good example, though, of how to respond to that question—and to our lives: with humility, with an emphatic distinction that he isn't Christ, and with a willingness to do the work that will allow others to know who Christ is.
In order to let God work through us, we have to acknowledge who we are, who we aren't, and who He is. Let's ask Saint John the Baptist to pray for us to know these things today so that we can live out our faith as he did.
The Catholic Encyclopedia entry on Saint John the Baptist is lengthy and fascinating. Take a look to learn more about this cousin of Jesus.
Annie Deddens is a writer and producer. She runs a prayer ministry with her husband called Pray More Novenas. She has a heart for the sick & suffering, and she writes about living with greater faith (hope & love, too) in this imperfect world as a Catholic wife. You can find out more about her here.