Saturday, January 7, 2017

Regardless of the advertising campaigns may tell us, we can't have it all. Sacrifice is not an option, or an anachronism; it's a fact of life. We all “cut off our own limbs to burn on some altar”. The crucial thing is to choose the “right altar”.

Self-sacrifice is the real miracle out of which all the reported miracles grow - Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 –1882: was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet)

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.”

"He must increase; I must decrease.” – One of the most important phrases in the Bible. What does it mean? It means when we die to ourselves, making sacrifices for others, the Holy Spirit fills us with the very spirit of God. Selfishness is the obstacle and when we put God above all things and do our very best to love our neighbor as our self, it is then that we begin to “decrease and He increases”

I will say it again, one of the most important phrases in the entire Bible! It is the key to true happiness but don’t take my word for it, instead listen to a little man from Assisi by the name of Francis who said, “it is in giving that we receive”. This man radically followed Christ and within eight years of founding the Franciscan order there were 5000 friars across Italy. How did this happen in such a short period of time? St Francis took what John the Baptist said seriously, dare I say radically.

“He must increase; I must decrease.”

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