It was the usual afternoon mood at the school, crowded at the canteen, warm but every corner was filled with students laughing as if there would be no more tomorrow, that kind of having the last laugh on earth.
Then, it was my turn. I picked a paper and unrolled it. It says “Who Am I”. After reading, in splitting seconds countless thoughts came running into my mind. My heart begun to pound but my hands remained calm and so was my mind, I went to the middle of the crowd and these were few of those words that came out and will be forever in my memory.
I was walking towards the venue. My steps relaxed but defined, then I entered a room and I saw few familiar faces, both students and faculty members. Few minutes after everyone got settled, a familiar person spoke and an instruction was given. Looking back more than relaxed and little lesser nervous, I was exactly excited to be called.
“I am Benia. I am a middle child. I watch basketball at playground near to my home with my baby sister in my arms. I believe she is cheering for my favorite team, although she’s only less than 2 years old. My mother assigned me to wash the dishes and clean the kitchen after every lunch and I love doing it because the dishes love me because they are too many every lunchtime.” The crowd smiled and allowed me to hear the sound of it. I continued.” I am also tasked to pick up the daily newspaper at the plaza and this is the only time I could be free. Days ago, the President declared a wipe-out drive against the Abu Sayyaff there in Mindanao. It might be peaceful here in our school and we can all laugh but somewhere down at our island, within our country, there are people might be as young as us, running for the safety for their lives. They might be having dreams same as mine. If there is one thing I have come to desire in picking up our daily newspaper, my noble task for my family is that rebellion in the country comes to rest. So, they don’t have to flee but can enjoy simple moments like watching basketball with a sibling and washing the dishes for the family. “
I looked around and the crowd looked back intently at me.
In today’s gospel, John the Baptist answered the question of “Who are you? ” not with descriptive words but what is he for. He illustrated his task for the Saviour. “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.” He is to prepare the way of the One who is to come whose sandals John says he is unworthy to untie.
Just like the John the Baptist and I when asked during my younger years,”Who are you?”, let that question triggers our purpose.
Who are you is what is your purpose.
This new year may you have an answer and live it.
Dear Lord, thank you for this brand new year.
Thank you for the gift of our past. May our learnings be the best gift of it.
Arouse our purpose and grant us the love, grace and faith to live it, for Your greater glory and honor.
Thank you for reading.