Gospel: John 3:22-30
Jesus and his disciples went into the region of Judea,
where he spent some time with them baptizing.
John was also baptizing in Aenon near Salim,
because there was an abundance of water there,
and people came to be baptized,
for John had not yet been imprisoned.
Now a dispute arose between the disciples of John and a Jew
about ceremonial washings.
So they came to John and said to him,
“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 answered and 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.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
The Mass intention is for The Poor Clare Sisters and their loved ones
Augusto used to be the Musical Director of the Nativity Play held every Christmas Eve in his hometown. When he was in his late 70s, he handed over the role to his grandson Bob. During Bob’s debut as Musical Director, Augusto was there, playing one of the musical instruments. At the end of the celebration, he quipped “Bob has outdone me.” His remarks echo what St John the Baptist said at the end of today’s Gospel: “He (Jesus) must increase; I must decrease.” John has already sensed that his mission is complete, and it is time for Jesus to shine. All of us are gifted. We may have used these for our family, our career, or our community. In other words, gifts are meant to be shared. By sharing, we can transform the people around us. Sometimes, they exceed us – children, grandchildren, students, colleagues. But that should not cause us to worry. Remember, the gifts we shared are not ours in the first place. They came from God. They are meant to praise and glorify Him.
- How would you react if someone you have supported in the past has exceeded you? Why or why not?
- How can you let Jesus increase in your life this New Year?
- What holds you back from sharing the gifts God entrusted to you?
Lord Jesus, thank You for Your Word today. Through the prayers and example of St John the Baptist, help us to realize that it is You and not us who should increase. Amen.