“Sailing together with the Lord over the clean waters of humility and meekness!”
(Based on 1 Jn 5:14-21 and Jn 3:22-30 – Saturday after Epiphany)
Greek mythology has a character named Narcissus, who was renowned for his beauty.
He was exceptionally proud; so much that he even disdained those who loved him!
One day, Narcissus was attracted to a pool of water.
He saw his reflection in the water and fell in love with it.
He failed to realize that it was only an image!
Unable to leave the beauty of his reflection, he fell and drowned in the waters!
An obsessive love of his own-self drowned him!
A true appreciation and genuine love of oneself is highly important and needed.
But when this self-directed love crosses the boundary, it can lead to obsession and fixation!
Are we in any way getting drowned, as a result of excessive love for our self?
The Gospel of the day invites and challenges us to ponder over this aspect by presenting the dramatically humble personality of John the Baptist!
One of the most supreme and vital messages that we learn from the life of John the Baptist is Humility – a virtue in direct contrast to the dangerous vice of Pride!
This is what we learn from the life of St John the Baptist.
He sought not his own way, but the way of the One who sent him.
He wanted not his light to shine, but the Light of Him who sent him.
The Gospel of the day has a scene of a dispute arising. John the Baptist, by his bold preaching and his radical life-style, had attracted many disciples.
Some of these disciples come and told John: “Rabbi, the One who was with you across the Jordan, to Whom you testified, here He is baptizing, and everyone is coming to Him” (Jn 3:26)
These disciples of John seem so resentful of Jesus that they don’t even mention His name!
These disciples of John are distressed that Jesus and His disciples are more successful!
These disciples of John are irritated that their Master has not come up with any remedy yet!
There seemed anxiety in their voice…
There seemed anger in their tone!
John had preached about repentance… baptized… and had pointed to the coming Messiah.
This should have been a time for John’s disciples to celebrate, now that Jesus was coming to the forefront!
But they forgot an important aspect of ministry… that we are doing all for HIM!
The disciples of John, perhaps, sought “narcissistic” attention to their own ministry…
They, perhaps, adopted a “narcissistic” style in their works and activities…
… looking into just themselves and their interests
… seeking to fulfil only their objectives and motives
But John the Baptist remains unperturbed and undisturbed.
He displays an angelic countenance of humility!
As St Augustine says: “It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.”
Like a good coach, who drills discipline and restraint into “his men”, John tells his disciples: “Let’s get back to the basics!”
John reminds His disciples that His ministry is not of his own, but received from God!
John reminds that He is not to take centre-stage, but only the One greater than him!
John reminds that He was not to be the Messiah, but only the forerunner of the Messiah!
John reminds His disciples that He is only the friend of the bridegroom… (Jn 3:29)
In our life, it is easy for us to lose our focus from the Lord and have a “narcissistic” style of preferences for ourselves…
In our works, we forget the blessings that the Lord has showered on us, and instead attribute all successes to our own talents and abilities.
In our ministry, we lose sight of the Lord, the real purposes of our vocation and the mission, and instead seek to fulfil our personal agenda and motives.
It is easy to bask in the glory of popularity and fame.
It is satisfying to enjoy the sunshine of reputations and recognitions.
But let them never lead us to have a “narcissistic” approach of just “looking into” ourselves.
Let us have the humility to accept that it is God’s power being manifested in our works.
Let us have the acceptance that it is God’s graces that has lifted us to a high position.
Yes, “drown” not in the murky waters of pride, egoism and selfishness…
Rather “sail” together with the Lord over the clean waters of humility and meekness!
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
“A secular institute is an institute of consecrated life in which the Christian faithful living in the world strive for the perfection of charity and work for the sanctification of the world especially from within.”
By a “life perfectly and entirely consecrated to [such] sanctification,” the members of these institutes share in the Church’s task of evangelization, “in the world and from within the world,” where their presence acts as “leaven in the world.”
“Their witness of a Christian life” aims “to order temporal things according to God and inform the world with the power of the gospel.”
They commit themselves to the evangelical counsels by sacred bonds and observe among themselves the communion and fellowship appropriate to their “particular secular way of life” (CCC # 928-929)