This reflection helps youth consider the question which was asked of John the Baptist: “Who are you?” There are many ways we can identify ourselves. How does our faith impact our identity?
Start by giving everyone a piece of paper and a pencil. Have them write down as many possible answers as possible to the question “Who are you?” Allow plenty of time for this activity. If some of them seem to finish, encourage them to dig deeper and come up with more answers.
Let’s do a survey:
- Raise your hand if you had an answer related to something you do at school or in a club, such as “I am a soccer player” or “I am involved in Student Council”.
- Raise your hand if you had an answer related to a talent such as “I can play the piano” or “I am a good student”.
- Raise your hand if you had an answer related to your family, such as “I am an only child” or I am a daughter”.
- Raise your hand if you had an answer related to your personality such as “I am nice” or “I am faithful”.
- Raise your hand if you had an answer related to faith, such as “I am Catholic” or “I am a disciple”.
- Raise your hand if you had an answer related to your habits or preferences, such as “I am somebody who likes to sleep in” or “I am a person who loves dogs”.
- Raise your hand if you have an answer which starts with “I am not”, such as “I am not good at math” or “I am not an athlete”.
- How many people had more answers which started with “I am not” than answers with started with “I am”?
Most of us would tend to answer the question “Who are you?” which an answer that describes who we are instead of an answer that describes who we are not.
Read John 1:6-8, 19-28
A man named John was sent from God. He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to testify to the light.
And this is the testimony of John. When the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to him to ask him, “Who are you?” He admitted and did not deny it, but admitted, “I am not the Christ.”
So they asked him, “What are you then? Are you Elijah?” And he said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.”
So they said to him, “Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us? What do you have to say for yourself?”
He said: “I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘make straight the way of the Lord,’” as Isaiah the prophet said.”
Some Pharisees were also sent. They asked him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ or Elijah or the Prophet?”
John answered them, “I baptize with water; but there is one among you whom you do not recognize, the one who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.”
This happened in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.John 1:6-8, 19-28
When John is asked who he is, his initial answer is “I am not the Christ.” He answers by saying who he is not.
John his aware that his identity is not about bringing honor and glory to himself. He sees himself as a person who points to Jesus.
Think again about who you are. Look at your list.
- Do you think about how to use your identity to glorify God?
- What are some specific ways you can use your identity to bring others to Jesus?
- Are some parts of your identity more difficult to use to point to God?
- Do any parts of your identity seem to be more focused on yourself? How can you change your actions to use these to glorify God?
This week, pick one part of your identity which doesn’t usually point people to Jesus. Commit to do something to use this trait or gift to glorify God.