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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Saturday after Epiphany

1st Reading (1Jn 5:14-21): Beloved: We have this confidence in him that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in regard to whatever we ask, we know that what we have asked him for is ours.

If anyone sees his brother sinning, if the sin is not deadly, he should pray to God and he will give him life. This is only for those whose sin is not deadly. There is such a thing as deadly sin, about which I do not say that you should pray. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that is not deadly. We know that anyone begotten by God does not sin; but the one begotten by God he protects, and the Evil One cannot touch him. We know that we belong to God, and the whole world is under the power of the Evil One. We also know that the Son of God has come and has given us discernment to know the one who is true. And we are in the one who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Children, be on your guard against idols.
Responsorial Psalm: 149
R/. The Lord takes delight in his people.
Sing to the Lord a new song of praise in the assembly of the faithful. Let Israel be glad in their maker, let the children of Zion rejoice in their king.

Let them praise his name in the festive dance, let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp. For the Lord loves his people, and he adorns the lowly with victory.

Let the faithful exult in glory; let them sing for joy upon their couches; let the high praises of God be in their throats. This is the glory of all his faithful.
Versicle before the Gospel (---): Alleluia. The people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death light has arisen. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Jn 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».

«It is necessary that he increase but that I decrease»

Fr. Antoni CAROL i Hostench (Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, we are surprised to see both Jesus and John baptizing "side by side". We say "side by side", although… actually, this is only in appearance, because John the Baptist refers us to Jesus, who is the Messiah, the "new Moses", the long-awaited Prophet, he who comes over to bring God to us. «What has He [Jesus] brought? The answer is very simple: God. He has brought God» (Benedict XVI).

Consequently, and immediately, John spells out the substance of baptism: in fact, it is purification, but «it differs from the customary religious ablutions» performed those days, and -as Pope Benedict asserted- «it must be the material culmination of a change determining a new way of life forever and ever». Therefore the Christian baptism stands for a radical change under the figure of a new birth. A new beginning in life.

Purification, definitely, but to put off the "old man", to die oneself and -because of God's Grace- be born to a new life altogether: the divine life, something that «no one can take on anything except what has been given him from heaven» (Jn 3,28). The second council of Orange teaches us that «it is wholly a gift of God to love God. He, who loves, even though he is not loved, allowed himself to be loved. We are loved, even when we displease him, so that we might have means to please him».

Hence, our long-life task for sanctity: to grow deep in humility, open up God's will for us and let Him guide us. It is not as important what I can do as it is that He leads me: «It is necessary that He increase but that I decrease» (Jn 3,30). And the fuller our joy will grow as the more immaterial I turn into and the Spouse becomes closer to our heart and to our deeds.

These days, Jesus has a “high voltage” religious conversation with Nicodemus. Do not miss the face of the child who listens to them and who ..., little by little, falls asleep ... The "Gospel for the Family" explains it to you simply!


Tuesday of the Second Week of Easter

Wednesday of the Second Week of Easter

Thursday of the Second Week of Easter