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Lord, help us to understand that real greatness

Lord, help us to understand that real greatness consists not in our rank but in putting ourselves and our talents at the disposal of others.

Lord, help us to understand that real greatness

Sat 12th Jan 2019
Saturday after Epiphany 
1 Jn. 5:14-21; Ps. 150(149):1-2,3-4,5,6,9;
Jn. 3:22-30

Even after Jesus began His public life we are told that John the Baptist was still baptizing in the River Jordan. And Jesus also was baptizing, though it is likely that it was not baptism in the full sacramental sense as was practised after Pentecost. However, it is clear that some of John’s disciples were not too happy about what was happening. Speaking of Jesus as if He was a stranger, they complain that “the man who was with you …, the man to whom you bore witness, is baptizing now; and everyone is going to him.” Do we detect here a note of jealousy?


But John will have none of it. He was given a role and he knows what it is: “A man can lay claim only to what is given him from heaven (i.e. by God).” He recognizes the superior status of Jesus. Jesus is the bridegroom and John is only the bridegroom’s friend. And, as His friend, he is delighted to hear the bridegroom’s voice. Jesus “must grow greater, I must grow smaller”, he says. There is much for us to reflect on here.

How many times have we been touched with envy, jealousy or resentment because other people seem to get all the limelight or the time has come for us to step aside and let others take over? Let us know our role and accept cheerfully when it is time for others to take over. Far from losing respect, we gain even more when we do so gracefully.

Lord, help us to understand that real greatness consists not in our rank but in putting ourselves and our talents at the disposal of others.

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