Saturday after Epiphany
St. John the Baptist, the forerunner of the Lord, shows us that humility is the foundation of every other virtue. “He must increase; I must decrease.” (John 3:30) In this way he makes room for the source of life: God. Letting God increase does not eliminate John, but rather it fulfills him. When he sees Christ and gives way to him, John can finally say “So this joy of mine has been made complete.”
If we live like John, if we let the Lord increase in our lives through prayer, through acts of charity, through faithfulness to our duties as spouse, as parent, as teacher… then not only will we see our delight in God grow, but we will be more aware of how much it is that God takes joy in us. Then we will be able to proclaim with the Psalmist, “The Lord takes delight in his people.”
Because this joy is so precious, because the priority of God is so important, the Church gives us this first reading from the end of John’s first letter, warning us against sin, especially deadly sin. It is tragic but true that our freedom, given to us so that we may love, is able to be misused, even gravely abused.
Today let us take a moment to pause in prayer, and ask the Lord to show us the joy He takes in us. Let us also ask Him to show us what actions (or omissions) are preventing us from seeing the love God has for us and the delight He takes in us. Finally, let us pick a good time for our next confession, so that we might ask God to remove such burdens from our shoulders, and enter more fully into His joy.