*** 1st Reading ***

1 John 5:14-21

 Through him we are fully confident that whatever we ask,

According to his will, he will grant us. If we know that he hears us whenever we ask, we know that we already have what we asked of him.  If you see your brother committing sin, a sin which does not lead to death, pray for him, and God will give life to your brother. I speak, of course, of the sin which does not lead to death.

There is also a sin that leads to death; I do not speak of praying about this. Every kind of wrongdoing is sin, but not all sin leads to death.  We know that those born of God do not sin, but the one who was born of God protects them and the evil one does not touch them.  We know that we belong to God, while the whole world lies in evil.

 We know that the Son of God has come and has given us power to know the truth. We are in him who is true, his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

 My dear children, keep yourselves from idols.


Ps 149:1-2, 3-4, 5 & 6a & 9b

The Lord takes delight in his people.


**** Gospel ****

John 3:22-30

 After this, Jesus went into the territory of Judea with his disciples. He stayed there with them and bap­tized. John was also baptizing in Aenon near Salim where water was plentiful; people came to him and were baptized. This happened before John was put in pris­on.

 Now John’s disciples had been ques­tioned by a Jew about spiritual cleansing, so they came to him and said, “Rabbi, the one who was with you across the Jordan, and about whom you spoke favorably, is now baptizing and all are going to him.”

 John answered, “No one can take on anything except what has been given him from heaven. You yourselves are my witnesses that I said: ‘I am not the Christ but I have been sent before him.’ 

Only the bridegroom has the bride; but the friend of the bridegroom stands by and listens, and rejoices to hear the bridegroom’s voice. My joy is now full. It is necessary that he increase but that I decrease.


Gospel Reflection

It is not the merit of the teacher when his or her students remain students forever. But if the teacher is surpassed, that is because he or she is a very good teacher. Thus we can understand why John rejoiced in knowing that the One whom he baptized is now baptizing Himself.

A lesser man would have felt threatened. But luckily John was no ordinary man. The clarity of his purpose allowed him to accept the part of a second fiddle without bitterness or rancor.

If we know who we are and what is our role in life, it will save us from a lot of heartaches and unnecessary desires. John was freed from ordinary human pettiness because of his self-knowledge. We too can do the same by struggling to know who we really are.