John was baptizing in one river while another Jew was baptizing in another river. Jesus was baptizing in another place and the disciples of John were worried. Why were they worried? Because they were afraid that the people would flock to Jesus and not to John.
If there is a Mass here and there is a Mass there, if there is a prayer meeting at Luneta and another prayer meeting in Quezon City, if there is a baptism here and another baptism in another church – why should we be worried about that? What is important is we worship and love the same God and we serve the same people.
John teaches us one thing today: the virtue of tolerance. The virtue of patience. Sometimes we get to be so intolerant with people who dress differently from us. Sometimes we can be so impatient with people whose skin are darker than ours. Sometimes we can be so intolerant of people whose educational background does not measure up to ours. And sometimes we can be so impatient when we see people different from us. But unity does not mean uniformity. Sometimes We must discover the Lord amid our diversities.
John was patent and tolerant enough to see God at work in spite of differences. We may differ in songs, accents, homes, businesses, faces – some noses are more flat than the others – but all these should not make us impatient or intolerant of one another. If God accepts anybody, why should we not do the same?
OPENNESS AND TOLERANCE
Jesus In My Heart