Homily, Saturday after Epiphany, January 8 2022.

1 John 5: 14—21

Psalm 149:1b—2,3—4,5—6a and 9bc(R. 4a)

John 3:22—30

Today, what many of us want is to use Christ to shine instead of letting Christ to shine in our lives.

Today’s Gospel reading John 3:22—30, addresses this.

The disciples of John complains to John that Jesus’ ministry is obstructing theirs; He now gathers crowds on His own. They forgot the mission of John as a herald of the Word.

Contrary to their expectation, John being a true disciple of the Word Made Flesh, is happy that people have started going to Jesus because he knows his rightful place beside the Word.

John’s disposition reminds us that our mission is to see Christ known and glorified.

If we are used by God for His purpose, it’s not to seek to promote ourselves or drag glory with God.

So also, we are warned to avoid idolatry in the first reading 1 John 5: 14—21. Worship of our ego, which is egolatry, is a form of idolatry that we must put in check as Christians.

Child of God, for John Jesus must increase and he(John) must decrease.

If we must bear fruit as Children of God, we must decrease and allow Jesus to increase in our individual lives.

If we must keep away from sin, we must give up ourselves and let Jesus increase and shine.

We are the people keeping Christ from shining  and people from going to Christ sometimes, because instead of lifting Jesus up, we lift ourselves and our ego up.

We convert people to ourselves instead of to God. Instead of becoming men/women/Children and people of God, we become the God of the People, and God of men and women.

Remember, Jesus said, “when I am lifted up, I shall draw everyone to myself.” (John 12:32) He didn’t say when one of my disciples is lifted up because He alone is God.

It’s time we allow Jesus to be the player, and we become the instrument. It’s time we allow Jesus to be the master and we become the disciple like John.

Only then, can we be useful and fruitful, yet retain our place in God. Because, the Lord takes delight in his people.

©Fr. Henrycharles Umelechi

Truth Series

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