JAN. 9. CHRISTMAS SEASON. JN. 3. 22-30
Updated: Aug 22
Jesus went with his disciples into the Judaean countryside and stayed with them there and baptised. At the same time John was baptising at Aenon near Salim, where there was plenty of water, and people were going there to be baptised. This was before John had been put in prison.
Now some of John’s disciples had opened a discussion with a Jew about purification, so they went to John and said, ‘Rabbi, the man who was with you on the far side of the Jordan, the man to whom you bore witness, is baptising now; and everyone is going to him.’
‘A man can lay claim
only to what is given him from heaven.
‘You yourselves can bear me out: I said:
I myself am not the Christ;
I am the one who has been sent in front of him.
‘The bride is only for the bridegroom;
and yet the bridegroom’s friend,
who stands there and listens,
is glad when he hears the bridegroom’s voice.
This same joy I feel, and now it is complete.
He must grow greater, I must grow smaller.’
The focus of today’s Gospel is on both Humility and the Will of God, two centrepieces of both Christ’s Life and the Gospels. John has no desire at all for his own glory or “success”; - which he could of so easily claimed as his entitlement, given the Mission and duties God had asked of him.
And we see the same approach to her Mission and duties from Mary, the Mother of God, who certainly was entitled to claim glory for herself given her role in the salvation of the human race, but instead she referred to herself as “The Handmaid of The Lord”.
And then we have these same virtues, of Humility and Obedience, being displayed by Christ himself, the Son of God, who washed the feet of his disciples; - after which he told them he was setting them an example, that he wanted them to follow!
The Gospels are riddled with example of Christ teaching his followers the importance of humility and it is interesting to see both John and the Mother of God giving it the same prominence!
And the reason is clear! It is the means by which God’s People bear witness to their belief that nothing must be allowed to take precedence over the Will of God the Father!
Sadly, because we are sinners, this is a teaching we so readily overlook, as the very definition of sin is the putting of our own will before the Will of God; - something most of us find ourselves doing on a daily basis?
A fundamental requirement, if this is ever going to change, is recognising the simple truth that God is our Creator. What this means is that what he wants of each of us must take precedence over our own wishes or desires; - and we must reflect this truth in the way we live our lives!
Gospel Acclamation Matthew 4:23
Jesus preached the Good News of the kingdom
and healed all who were sick.
First reading 1 John 5:14-21 · If we ask for anything, he will hear us
We are quite confident that if we ask the Son of God for anything,
and it is in accordance with his will,
he will hear us;
and, knowing that whatever we may ask, he hears us,
we know that we have already been granted what we asked of him.
If anybody sees his brother commit a sin
that is not a deadly sin,
he has only to pray, and God will give life to the sinner
– not those who commit a deadly sin;
for there is a sin that is death,
and I will not say that you must pray about that.
Every kind of wrong-doing is sin,
but not all sin is deadly.
We know that anyone who has been begotten by God
does not sin,
because the begotten Son of God protects him,
and the Evil One does not touch him.
We know that we belong to God,
but the whole world lies in the power of the Evil One.
We know, too, that the Son of God has come,
and has given us the power
to know the true God.
We are in the true God,
as we are in his Son, Jesus Christ.
This is the true God,
this is eternal life.
Children, be on your guard against false gods.