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Rejoicing in the Things from Above

– Memorial St. Stanislaus, bishop, martyr –

“The one who comes from above is above all, the one who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks about earthly things.”  [John 3:31]

In today’s passage we hear the words of John the Baptist, responding to a discussion about purification among his disciples and a Jew that contrasts the baptism offered by Jesus and the one done by John.

John is very clear, what he offers is a baptism of water (John 1:33) while Jesus, baptises with the Holy Spirit, because he is the Son of God (John 1:34).

John, in his humility, realises that he is ‘earthly’ and what he says and does reflects this reality. He rejoices that the Messiah has come, for Jesus offers, what he cannot, the gift of eternal life and ‘the Spirit without measure’ (John 3:34)

Too easily, we can lose sight of the magnificence of what God offers us because we are too immersed in doing ‘good works’ and having an exalted sense of our own importance. The Risen Christ is proof that God has conquered death and has opened to us what we cannot even conceive, much less achieve through our own efforts: a life of love forever.

Like John the Baptist, we pray each day that Christ must increase and we must decrease so that what is offered from above is treasured more than our earthly pursuits.

 

by Mike Humphrys

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