On Increasing and Decreasing

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Catholics believe in different “kinds” of sin. Mortal sin and venial sin. Venial sins are still sins, but not as serious as mortal sins. Mortal sins are those sins that separate us from God. Serious sins where we willfully and intentionally turn our backs on God. We find this notion in today’s first reading from 1 John 5. “All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that is not deadly.”

In the Gospel reading today from John 3, Jesus and his disciples were baptizing. John the Baptist was still doing the same, and he has an exchange with some of his disciples. At the end of the exchange, while referring to Jesus, John says, “He must increase; I must decrease.” Words to live by, no?

We must take on that same attitude of John the Baptist. Sometimes, even in our Christian walk, we crave attention. We want the spotlight on us. Oh, we would never admit that to anyone, but inside, it’s there. That desire to be noticed. John the Baptist had no such desire. He was perfectly willing to fade into the background, if only more people noticed Jesus as the Christ. Are we willing to do the same?

Father, forgive us for those times when we seek attention, especially in the spiritual life. Give us the desire to point the way to Jesus, the He increase, and we decrease. Amen.

Today’s Readings


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