John and Jesus were cousins. Yet John also says he does not “know” Jesus. The Holy Spirit does not call John by showing him the end and then giving him a game-plan. John ministers in faith, trusting that God’s labor is greater than anything that he will do or know.

This attentiveness to God’s voice and call allows John to recognize Jesus as the Son of God at his baptism and eventually to say “something greater is happening, and it’s time for me to let go and allow this to unfold.”

When it seems like our call is full of unknowns, we can find a friend in John. Not only is God’s work always greater, but our labor in quiet faith prepares us to recognize Christ in our world, and when we do, to say: “There he is. Follow him

Today, I ask God for faithfulness in the midst of the unknown and the grace to recognize Christ in the world.

— Ryen Dwyer, S.J., a Chicago-Detroit province Jesuit scholastic, is currently studying philosophy at Loyola University Chicago.