HE MUST INCREASE

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Opening Prayer

Dear Lord, I mean to live so that I may honor you as the son of the father who is infinitely wise, good and powerful. I intend to live according to my beliefs; and, as your will governs all things at all times and is always for my benefit, I will live on this vast income, which can never fail, is always present and always available to do me the greatest possible good.

— Jean-Pierre De Caussade, Abandonment to Divine Providence

TEXT 

John 3:22-30 NASB

After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He was spending time with them and baptizing.

John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there; and people were coming and were being baptized—for John had not yet been thrown into prison.

Therefore there arose a discussion on the part of John’s disciples with a Jew about purification. And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified, behold, He is baptizing and all are coming to Him.”

John answered and said, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given him from heaven. You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent ahead of Him.’ He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made full. He must increase, but I must decrease.”

 

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For I do not wish you to be people-pleasers, but to please God (as indeed you are). For I will never again have such an opportunity as this one to reach God—nor can you be credited with a better deed than by being silent [and letting me be martyred]…Grant me nothing more than to be poured forth before God while this altar stands ready, so that in love you may form a chorus singing to the Father in Christ Jesus, because God has judged me, the bishop of Syria, worthy to be found in the West—where the sun sets—having been sent from the East, where it rises. It is good to be setting from the world to God, that I might also rise to him!

—Ignatius of Antioch, Romans 2:1-2

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