Breakfast With the Word Saturday After Epiphany
What we say about others sometimes reveals who we are. When you meet someone who derives joy in backbiting others, saying only negative things about people who come close to him or her, always know that such a person hardly sees anything good in anyone. You may be surprised that one day, you will also be the topic of the day.
When we meet someone who despite however you try to paint others black but he or she still finds something good about the person and hardly joins in such discussions, always know that such a person must be one of great virtue.
The truth is that people will always bring topics daily for us to talk about. But like John the Baptist, what we say about others must not be negative.
1. First of all John joins in the epiphany of Jesus by revealing to the people that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah they have been waiting for.
2. Secondly, from the gospel of today, we are surprised to see both Jesus and John baptizing “side by side”.
In this gospel of John 3: 22-30 it is quite clear that the disciples of John may not be comfortable with this. So, they report this to their master, John the Baptist.
When John heard this, He would have been jealous of Jesus or begins to see Jesus as a rival.
Many of us would have reacted to this report, seeing the other as a rival. John the Baptist plays the highest level of maturity here not necessarily because he wants peace to reign but because of who he is. He knows himself well. He knows that his mission is different from that of Jesus.
John understands what he comes to do in the world. Instead of seeing negatively in what Jesus is doing or reacting negatively, He praises Jesus all the more.
John simply says that his joy is now complete.
John’s reaction to this report reveals a lot about him. John promotes Jesus the more and reveal more about him. Instead of praising himself or seeking relevance, John was praising Jesus Christ, which is a sign of humility and understanding. How many of us can do this today?
No one can question the humility of John the Baptist after today’s gospel. John understands His role very well. Instead of John going behind or finding a way to talk bad about Jesus, nor trying to see Him as a rival, John concentrated on his mission.
Here, John is teaching us that if we all should concentrate on our mission, call, gift, talent, etc, there will be no room envy, jealousy and backbiting. Your mission and the mission of the other person is not the same. Therefore, we have to focus on our journey.
Also, what John said , revealed a lot about him.
In essence, what we say about others and how we react to some stories about others, also reveal a lot about us.
We have Our Own Mission.
We also have our mission on earth. Let us pay attention to what we are here to do. If we can pay attention to our different callings, works, mission, etc, if every man on earth can judiciously face the tasks that are before him/her, no one would have time for envy or jealousy.
What we say about others also reveals that we are either in support of them or that we are jealous and envious of them. Even when people tell lies about someone, because we do not like the person, we often join in destroying his/her image.
The time we spend thinking on how to pull others down, if used to think about ourselves, will yield something more positive. A philosopher says that If you do not have something nice to say about others, keep the mouth shut.
How many times have we been judgemental about the other person? Sometimes our judgements could also be driven by jealousy and insecurity. Sometimes this projects a high level of immaturity and inferiority complex.
When people tell you about others, they are invariably trying to fill a psychological vacuum which sometimes exposes their insecurity.
Let us always be wary of what we say about others at their back. If you have anything against someone, call the person in question and talk to him/her.
Bearing grudges, thinking bad, and destroying people’s image will never give any positive result. If you have the problem of bearing grudges, you can read my post on letting go of your grudges.
Promote the Good.
In referring to Jesus, John the Baptist says “He will increase, while I decrease”. This is a word from a humble man, who understands that no matter what Jesus does, it can never affect His mission.
This is a word from a man, who knows that the best thing in life is to promote something good you see in the other.
John the Baptist is a model here in terms of “pull him/her down mentality”. There is something good in us and there is also something good in the other person. Let us always focus on the good and promote them.
When there is a lack, it is good to call the person to order and advise him/her. I believe that we can win a person’s respect and love than backbiting him/her.
No one comes into the world without a gift, a talent or mission. Let us spend more time to discover them and work in togetherness for God’s kingdom. It will yield more fruit and results than all these unnecessary competitions.
May God through His mercy give us the grace to overcome every temptation and never to give up in life. Amen