Saturday after Epiphany

John 3:22-30

Final Witness of the Baptist

“I want to be Number One!” This is the shout of pride of many of us. But let us look at the history. Our history is filled with the sweet and sour stories of some people who achieved their dreams and became number one in their fields. These people were somewhat good at the start of their lives but they ended up in ways you don’t want to happen to yourselves. Like for example: Elvis Presley, he was number one in rock and roll but because of depression he would stuff himself with weekly supply of pizzas and swallowed up everything in one meal. Ernest Hemingway was number one in the field of literature but took a shotgun and killed himself. George Eastman of Kodak Fame, he was number one in the field of film and photography but he pulled out a pistol in the privacy of his bedroom and committed suicide. Paul Getty was number one in oil but said that he would gladly give away one half of everything he has if only he could find someone who really loves him and so on and so forth.

In some parts of the gospel, the apostles were envious of one another. They quarreled about “who was the first,” among them. But John the Baptist, in today’s gospel, is different. Even if He has made a name for himself already as the “the Baptist,” he does not resent or get angry when he receives a report that Jesus is also baptizing. In other words, Jesus is usurping his role of baptizing others. If he is also ambitious, seeking recognition or power like many of us, he would have resented it when Christ started becoming more popular than he is. But John does not look at it that way. He is happy that Jesus is recognized. He said: “This joy of mine has been made complete.” He even encourages his own disciples to follow Jesus by pointing to Him as the Lamb of God. He has shown his deep humility when he says that ‘he must increase and I must decrease.’

How about us, are we happy that others are more successful and more accomplished than we are and show our support for them? Or do we envy them and try to put them down? One author and a known speaker and motivator said that learning to be number one is to learn how to be successful in its truest way, that is, learning how to fly high but knowing how and where to land. He said also about success that we need to be reminded of and that is:

  • to become successful but to achieve significance
  • to enjoy life and understand its purpose
  • to learn much but maintain humility
  • to understand that being happy is an inside job and
  • to look at this world and appreciate life as a gift from the Author of Life.

As Christians, our aim should be to make Christ known, loved, Number One and not ourselves. As Christians, we must say that there can only be Number One and there can be only One King, the Lord Jesus Christ. This is something that might not be easily accepted by some of us but this is true.

See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

OPTION  01,   02,   03,

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