Friday, January 07, 2022

Jesus must increase and I must decrease.

John the Baptist said: “No one can receive anything except what has been given from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said that I am not the Christ, but that I was sent before him. The one who has the bride is the bridegroom; the best man, who stands and listens for him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made complete. He must increase; I must decrease.” (John 3: 22.... 30).

Saturday 8th January 2022, last day in the Season of Christmas. The first Saturday in January. We honor the Holy Mother of God whom the Church honors on Saturdays from ancient times.

"He [Jesus] must increase; I must decrease." (John 3: 30).

In the fullness of time, Jesus left Nazareth and after part hiking and part walking, He got to the River Jordan and was baptized by John the Baptist. Later John was asked about Jesus:  “Rabbi, the one who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you testified, here he is baptizing and everyone is coming to him.” (John 3: 20). Then John uttered these thought provoking words:
"He must increase; I must decrease."  John is saying: Jesus is the Messiah. I am only the messenger. He is the Word of God. I am only the Voice. No hint of jealousy from John. Compare this attitude to what we know of clerical jealousy in the Church. John knew that the Bridegroom is the star and therefore deserves the place of honor.

Where must Jesus increase in your life? Where must you decrease? In your home, parish, workplace? Do you struggle with pride and envy? We have a perfect answer in the first Reading:
"We have this confidence in him, [God] that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in regard to whatever we ask, we know that what we have asked him for is ours." (1 John 5: 14 - 15).

"He [Jesus] must increase; I must decrease." (John 3: 30). Discern your destiny and your gifts. Embrace your place in the Church and in the world. Glorify God with your time, talent and treasure. Strive for peace and serenity in 2022.

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