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.”
“John answered and said, “No one can receive anything except what has been given from heaven.”
The new year is underway and our lives feel like a new beginning. Most of us have taken stock and spent some time going through our house getting rid of things and reorganizing. Some of us are determined to better ourselves and our daily habits by spending more quality time with loved ones, eating healthier, exercising and praying more. A renewal of life is filled with hope. One thing is sure, we can only do what we know or are willing to learn.
In the Gospel, John was doing what he knew and his disciples were doing what they learned from him. Jesus and John were baptizing, bringing people to God as this was given them from heaven. However, John has spoken of the vast difference in Jesus and himself. Jesus is the bridegroom for all of us, whereas John’s job of bringing us to the Messiah is practically done.
As we settle into this new year, let us be ready to receive from heaven the ways of Jesus in loving our family and all we encounter each day. May our resolve be strengthened to receive from heaven holy ways to treat our bodies through exercise, rest and eating habits. But most importantly, may our hearts be open to heaven when we pray and adore Christ, so that Jesus can increase within us.