“He hears us in whatever we ask.”
A reading from the first Letter of Saint John (1 John 5:14-21)
Beloved: This is the confidence which we have in the Son of God, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have obtained the requests made of him. If any one sees his brother committing what is not a deadly sin, he will ask, and God will give him life for those whose sin is not deadly. There is sin which is deadly; I do not say that one is to pray for that. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin which is not deadly. We know that any one born of God does not sin, but he who was born of God keeps him, and the Evil One does not touch him. We know that we are of God, and the whole world is in the power of the Evil One. And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, to know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 149:1b-2.3-4.5-6a and 9bc (R. 4a)
R/. The Lord takes delight in his people.
Sing a new song to the Lord,
his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in its Maker;
let Sion’s children exult in their king. R/.
Let them praise his name with dancing,
and make music with timbrel and harp.
For the Lord takes delight in his people;
he crowns the poor with salvation. R/.
Let the faithful exult in glory,
and rejoice as they take their rest.
Let the praise of God be in their mouths.
This is an honour for all his faithful. R/.
ALLELUIA Matthew 4:16
Alleluia. Alleluia. The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned. Alleluia.
“The friend of the bridegroom rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (John 3:22-30)
At that time: Jesus and his disciples went into the land of Judea; there he remained with them and baptised. John also was baptising at Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there; and people came and were baptised. For John had not yet been put in prison. Now a discussion arose between John’s disciples and a Jew over purifying. And they came to John, and said to him, “Rabbi, he who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you bore witness, here he is, baptising, and all are going to him.” John answered, “No one can receive anything except what is given him from heaven. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him. He who has the bride is the bridegroom; the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice; therefore this joy of mine is now full. He must increase, but I must decrease.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
If we allow God to take his proper place in our lives, we shall discover that he can be more generous than we can ever ask (1 John 5:14-15). Unfortunately, often we prefer worshipping of idols to focusing on God. An idol is anything that takes the place of God in our lives or takes priority over God at any time in our lives. Pride is a form of idolatry. It makes us assume a position that God has not given us and sometimes makes us want to assume the position of God. John the Baptist teaches us that we can get nothing if it was not given to us from above. Hence, our positions and possessions must make God increase in us (John 3:27, 30). Otherwise they become idols for us.