Jn 3 Jesus and John the Baptist
Very Rev. Fr.Joychen Paranjattu,
Vicar General Diocese of Rajkot
In the first reading, we see the instruction that Moses gives to the Israelites concerning miscellaneous Laws. He reminds them to have a generous and compassionate heart towards the poor, in particular the laborers. Justice is to be meted out to them without fail. He constantly reminds them that they were slaves in Egypt. Thus, Moses commands the Israelites to remember their own tough past and show great concern towards the alien, the orphan, and the widow and to leave things for them in the field when they harvest. This is one of the criteria to receive God’s blessings. It’s only a person who has suffered hunger will understand the sufferings of the poor and the needy.
In the second reading, we find that the author of Hebrews refers to Jesus as the high priest who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens. He is the minister in the heavenly sanctuary. Every priest on earth offers sacrifices in a sanctuary that is a sketch and shadow of the heavenly one. Jesus is the mediator of a better covenant and continues to offer every sacrifice we offer on earth in the heavenly sanctuary.
John the Baptist points out that Jesus’ ministry comes from heaven. “No one can receive anything except what has been given from heaven”. These are words of wisdom that come from John. He knew that God is the one in command over everything. Every good thing comes from God. No one can claim to be achieving success on their own. His words come out of his humility. He was humble enough to accept the superiority of Jesus and acknowledge it before others. When he was told: “Rabbi, the one who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you testified, here is baptizing, and all are going to him”, John replied that it is all in accordance with the plan and purpose of God. To see everything in accordance with the plan of God, one needs to be truly connected to God. He does everything for the glory of God. He would never do anything for his own glory. He is unassuming in his discourse. He gives credit to God and is not jealous of other’s rise to glory.
John the Baptist is not concerned about the fame and welcome that Jesus gets; but rather, considers himself as his forerunner and his friend who rejoices at his voice. He never makes any claim to be the Messiah. He never wanted to compete with Jesus and his ministry. He understands that he is not the final voice to be listened to. There is somebody greater than he. He is only the voice of the one crying out in the wilderness. He is only preparing the way for the one who is to come. He views life as an opportunity to cooperate, rather than compete. He does not shy away from his responsibility to manifest Jesus to us. He was happy to see Jesus doing the works which he himself had longed to see. He understands that Jesus’ origin is not earthly, but rather, heavenly and above all. Jesus reveals to us the heavenly mysteries which we couldn’t have known unless someone revealed them to us. He realizes that only Jesus has the real power to communicate to us regarding the hidden things of heaven.
It is natural inclination of the mind to desire fame and name in the society in which we live. It is the desire of the Spirit to give glory to God and to acknowledge the blessings of God. Such a person will not boast over one’s own success. To humble oneself, one must shed the ego which often dominates over others and begin to appreciate others. One should not be disturbed by someone else’s success. Even to appreciate others and their achievements, one should grow spiritually and be closer to God. Let us not be threatened by other’s success. Every success is the work of God’s hands. The wise man acknowledges it, the foolish resent it. Let us place our trust in God who bestows us with all the spiritual blessings that we are in need of. Amen!