REFLECTION FOR TODAY,
January 9, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
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 3:26
John the Baptist is an example of humility for us, rejecting any implication that he and Jesus are in competition and rejoicing to see God’s will being accomplished. John had amassed quite a following. People kept coming to Him to be baptized, and many wanted his ministry to grow.
However, once Jesus began His own public ministry, some of the followers of John became jealous. Their jealousy was expressed in our gospel reference of today. Why were they jealous? They were losing the spotlight to Jesus. Some Christians today feels same jealousy in them. John gave the right answer to them. He explained to them that his life and mission was to prepare people for Jesus. Now that Jesus had begun His ministry, John joyfully said, “So this joy of mine has been made complete. He must increase; I must decrease” (John 3:29–30).
This humility of John is a great lesson, especially for those who are actively engaged in the apostolic mission of the Church. Too often when we get involved with some apostolate and another’s “ministry” seems to grow faster than ours, jealousy can set in. But the key to understanding our role in the apostolic mission of Christ’s Church is that we must seek to fulfill our role and our role alone. Knowing our mission and fulfilling it is the most important thing.
We must never see ourselves in competition with others within the Church. We must know when we are to act in accord with God’s will, and we must know when we are to step back and allow others to fulfill God’s will. We must do the will of God, nothing more, nothing less and nothing other.
Additionally, that last statement from John must always resound within our hearts when we are called to actively engage in the apostolate. “He must increase; I must decrease.” This is an ideal model for everyone who serves Christ and others within the Church.
Reflect, today, upon those holy words of the Baptist. Apply them to your mission within your family, among your friends and especially if you are involved in some apostolic service within the Church. Everything you do must point to Christ. This will only happen if you, like Saint John the Baptist, understand the unique role that God has given to you and you embrace that role alone.
Lord, I give myself to You for Your service and glory. Use me as You will. As You use me, please give me the humility I need to always remember that I serve You and Your will alone. Free me from jealousy and envy and help me to rejoice in the numerous ways that You act through others in my life. Jesus, I trust in You.