“As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on thing and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down you cannot see something that is above you.” ― C.S. Lewis: (1898 – 1963: British academic and author of “Mere Christianity”)
Gospel Text: (JN 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.”
When we see our brothers and sisters falling into sin, we must first turn to God in prayer. Our reliance upon God in prayer reminds us who is ultimately in charge of defeating evil. In other words, prayer helps keep our ego in check. We remember that correcting all of the world’s evils is ultimately not up to us. Prayer helps ensure that our response to our fallen brethren will come from sincere love for the other. Prayer helps us avoid flaunting the other’s sin and denigrating the sinner so as to build up ourselves. Instead, we approach our fallen brethren with humility and charity.
Sin, death and evil will remain with us until God’s Kingdom is established. No community is free from conflict and pain. Even the early disciples had their disagreements. You can almost hear the jealousy in the voices of John’s disciples when they complain about how Jesus “is baptizing and everyone is coming to him.” John responds by pointing to Jesus and reminding them of what’s really important. Drop your egos, see the Truth and love one another: “He must increase, I must decrease.”
Today whether we are talking about our culture, society or even our church the usual response is to disconnect ourselves from someone defined as “unclean”. Yet, Jesus sought to be connected. He did not want to push them away from the community but to bring them into the community.