The Guiding Principle of Your Life

January 8, 2022
Saturday after Epiphany
Readings for Today


“He must increase; I must decrease.”  John 3:30 

These powerful and prophetic words of St. John the Baptist should echo in our hearts every day.  They help set the tone for all that we are and who we must become.  What do these words mean?  Clearly, there are two things that John says here: 1) Jesus must increase, 2) We must decrease.

First of all, Jesus increasing in our lives is the primary goal we must have.  What exactly does this mean?  It means that He takes greater possession of our mind and will.  It means He possesses us and we possess Him.  It means that our number one goal and desire in life is the fulfillment of His holy will in all things.  It means that fear is cast aside and charity becomes our reason for living.  It’s very freeing to allow the Lord to increase in our lives.  It’s freeing in the sense that we no longer have to try and manage on our own.  Jesus now lives in and through us.

Second, when John says that he must decrease, he means that his own will, desires, ambitions, hopes, etc., must dissolve as Jesus takes over.  It means that all selfishness must be abandoned and selfless living must be the founding principle of our lives.  To “decrease” before God means we become humble.  Humility is a way of giving up everything not of God and allowing only God to shine through.

Reflect, today, upon this beautiful statement of St. John the Baptist.  Make it a prayer and say it over and over.  Let it become the guiding principle of your life.

Lord, You must increase and I must decrease.  Please come and take complete possession of my soul.  Transform my mind and heart, guide my will, emotions and desires.  And allow me to become a holy instrument of Your divine life.  Jesus, I trust in You.

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Featured image above: Jesus and John the Baptist meet in their youth By Matteo Rosselli, via Wikimedia Commons

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