Saturday, January 12, 2013

Gospel Reflection

January 12, 2013
Year of Faith
Saturday after Epiphany of the Lord
by Rev.  Fr. Nilo Mangussad (Rector Our Lady of Peace Quasi-Parish)
Mass at Shrine of Mary, Queen of Peace (Our Lady of EDSA)

Reading 1 1 Jn 5:14-21

Beloved: We have this confidence in him that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in regard to whatever we ask, we know that what we have asked him for is ours. If anyone sees his brother sinning, if the sin is not deadly, he should pray to God and he will give him life. This is only for those whose sin is not deadly. There is such a thing as deadly sin, about which I do not say that you should pray. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that is not deadly.

We know that anyone begotten by God does not sin; but the one begotten by God he protects, and the Evil One cannot touch him.  We know that we belong to God, and the whole world is under the power of the Evil One. We also know that the Son of God has come and has given us discernment to know the one who is true. And we are in the one who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Children, be on your guard against idols.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 149:1-2, 3-4, 5-6a and 9b

R. (see 4a) The Lord takes delight in his people.
R. Alleluia.
Sing to the LORD a new song
of praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel be glad in their maker,
let the children of Zion rejoice in their king.
R. The Lord takes delight in his people.
R. Alleluia.
Let them praise his name in the festive dance,
let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.
For the LORD loves his people,
and he adorns the lowly with victory.
R. The Lord takes delight in his people.
R. Alleluia.
Let the faithful exult in glory;
let them sing for joy upon their couches;
Let the high praises of God be in their throats.
This is the glory of all his faithful. Alleluia.
R. The Lord takes delight in his people.
R. Alleluia.

Gospel 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.”


Humility is a wonderful expression of one's faith in God. John was humble enough to say that he must decrease as the Lord must increase.
In fact, John is trying to tell us in the Gospel that unless you put God in the center of your life - your ministry, your occupation, your projects, your work - no wonderful fruits will come out, as willed by the Father. It is only when we realize the importance of God's hand guiding our actions, that we become fruitful in our activities. If you only let Christ's hand guide us, then, fruits will abundantly flow out.
My brothers and sisters, how many times have we tried to show that it is only through our efforts that we are able to accomplish things? Yet, after a while, everything falls down. But if we do things, not for our own, but because we claim it is God's, and we are just instruments, more fruits will come forth. It is time to make use of true, honest, authentic humility, and to let our actions be guided, so that we can have more produce.
My brothers and sisters, a lot of us have been given a lot of talents different from one another. If only we can make use of these talents for others' benefit, not for personal, then others will also use their talents so that we can also benefit. Can you imagine how the world will be, if all of us will share our talents for each other?
Humility is the most wonderful expression of our faith. John showed how humility can prosper. Can we not do the same?