“He must increase; I must decrease.”
(St. John 3.30)
and a Summary
these six words,
St. John the Baptist summarizes our vocation
as Catholics, indeed, the vocation of every Christian at all times,
in every place, and in every situation — in all we think, say,
and do which, if we are serious about Christ, ought to be
The people would have had St. John tell them that he was the Christ,
the Awaited One, and had St. John yielded to this inducement to anoint
himself the Messiah — and not the one preparing His way — what
increase John would have known! But John – who commanded the crowds,
and whom Herod himself feared — rejoices at the coming of the
King — and exults in his own diminution!
At the coming of the King, the Herald becomes unnecessary. Those that
gathered around him in great multitudes would go to another, to the
King Himself –— and the herald would fall to the side, his voice would
cease, and to those late in coming, he would point away from himself
to the King Whom he awaited in anticipation, had immediately acknowledged,
and boldly announced.
But greater humility still: the King kneels before the
Herald — and is baptized by him!
“I ought to be baptized by Thee,
and comest Thou
1 Saint John the Baptist protests — and the Christ of the Living
God kneels before him in the River Jordan, that all things
may be fulfilled.
Two examples are given us: that of the Herald who rejoices in the exaltation
of the King and the diminishing of himself ... and that of the King
Who humbles Himself to fulfill His exaltation as King.
And you would you make yourself great, esteemed,
notable, in the eyes of men?
John knew the way to Christ even before He came. And you still
do not — even after He has come?
He must increase ... and we
must decrease. It is the Law, the Prophets, and
the Gospel; it is the summary of your life in Christ. Except that
He increase and you decrease, your life in Christ is pretension.
St. John 3.14
Printable PDF Version
Totally Faithful to the Sacred
Deposit of Faith entrusted to the Holy See in
opera tua ... quia modicum habes virtutem, et servasti
verbum Meum, nec non negasti Nomen Meum”
know your works ... that you have but little power,
and yet you have kept My word, and have not denied My
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