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Faith Daily | 8 January 2022

PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p 479


O God,

by the leading of a star

you manifested your only-begotten Son to the Gentiles:

mercifully grant, that we, who know you now by faith,

may after this life be led to the vision

of your glorious Godhead;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.


GOSPEL for the Day: John 3: 22-30

22 After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he spent some time there with them and baptized. 23John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim because water was abundant there; and people kept coming and were being baptized— 24John, of course, had not yet been thrown into prison.


25 Now a discussion about purification arose between John’s disciples and a Jew. 26They came to John and said to him, ‘Rabbi, the one who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you testified, here he is baptizing, and all are going to him.’ 27John answered, ‘No one can receive anything except what has been given from heaven. 28You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, “I am not the Messiah, but I have been sent ahead of him.” 29He who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. For this reason my joy has been fulfilled. 30He must increase, but I must decrease.’

GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Ian McCarthy


It is very evident to me that our mortal life here on earth is indeed comparatively short in comparison with the historical time span of the Christian Church. Indeed, we spend a great deal of time in our earlier years obtaining a formal education and then subsequent vocational training / university in preparation for a selected lifelong career. However, before we realise it our formal “career" or paid occupation has concluded, and then we face certain retirement and other significant life challenges as I myself have experienced over the past five years or so since leaving my own particular employment.


Indeed, within this specific reading from the Gospel of John chapter 3:22-30 there is also evident the urgent theme of “time” particularly for John. Because at this stage he was soon to be cast into prison. From all accounts this was the last time that John the Baptist appears on the scene of this particular Gospel.


The word “witness” strikes a critical chord within this account as I believe that we as Christians need to carefully consider how we are to bear witness to others particularly concerning the Lord Jesus.


Clearly, there wasn’t much time left for John the Baptist before he was imprisoned and similarly, there is not much time left for us today in which to witness to the Lord Jesus Christ. On reflection, I believe that we need to make good use of the short time available to us on earth and use our remaining time wisely.


In summary, perhaps we need to simply listen quietly to the “still small voice” and then we should desire to obtain this living experience of the power of Christ’s life reflected in us and thereby proclaim the Good News to all regardless of the possible criticism and challenges which may result from our individual witness.


FINAL PRAYER: Philippians 4:4-9


Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.

Let your gentleness be known to everyone.

The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you. Amen.

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