Reflection by Annette K. Tenny
Today’s Gospel: John 3:22-30
I have a tendency to wear my heart on my sleeve – sort of. The sleeve is actually covered by a sweater…with a heavy top coat over everything…but still, whether I like it or not, my emotions lead, then comes reasoning. My emotions guide my first reaction to the Gospels. That would be just fine if love and compassion were front and center. More often than not, I jump with anger and all manner of judgy-ness.
Today’s reading is a perfect example. Followers of John the Baptist come to him, whining and snotting that Jesus is ‘getting’ more people coming to him to be baptized than is John. What is my first reaction? Anger and frustration rear their ugly heads.
Are you kidding me? What’s wrong with people? The Baptist has told his followers that Christ is the One they have all been waiting for. In Bethany, he told the priests and the Levites and the Pharisees he was there to prepare them for the Messiah.
“You yourselves can testify that I said [that]I am not the Messiah but that I was sent before him,” he tells his followers once again.
I’m like the best man, he says to them (and to us) but Jesus is the Bridegroom!
But because God is love, He doesn’t leave me sitting and fuming over the thought that we humans never seem to learn. Like John’s followers we also seem consumed with who’s ahead, who has the most, the best; and look, I’m with that one who has the most, the one who’s ahead. So, look at me, notice me.
Nope. God says read that again, Annette. Listen to John – what is he saying about my Son? What is he saying to you?
“So this joy of mine has been made complete. He must increase; I must decrease.”
So, I do. I read the passage again and then several more times.
And I begin to see John is talking to me, reminding me, of who has been leading in my life lately. He’s asking, is my joy complete? No? Well, here’s why, and here is what you do about it.
How much have I increased me and decreased Christ in my life?
O Lord, help me to find and change all the parts of my life where I am completely backwards in my relationship with You. Help me remember that the more of You there is, the more complete I am.
Copyright 2020 Annette K. Tenny
Annette K. Tenny is a freelance writer living in the foothills of North Carolina. She is a member of the Catholic Writers Guild, a board member of the Stokes County Arts Council, and has vowed to finish that sci-fi novel if it’s the last thing she ever does.
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