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Making Space for God

First Reading: 1 John 5:14-21

Beloved:
We have this confidence in him
that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
And if we know that he hears us in regard to whatever we ask,
we know that what we have asked him for is ours.
If anyone sees his brother sinning, if the sin is not deadly,
he should pray to God and he will give him life.
This is only for those whose sin is not deadly.
There is such a thing as deadly sin,
about which I do not say that you should pray.
All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that is not deadly.

We know that anyone begotten by God does not sin;
but the one begotten by God he protects,
and the Evil One cannot touch him.
We know that we belong to God,
and the whole world is under the power of the Evil One.
We also know that the Son of God has come
and has given us discernment to know the one who is true.
And we are in the one who is true,
in his Son Jesus Christ.
He is the true God and eternal life.
Children, be on your guard against idols.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 149:1-2, 3-4, 5-6A AND 9B

R. The Lord takes delight in his people.
Sing to the LORD a new song
of praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel be glad in their maker,
let the children of Zion rejoice in their king.
R. The Lord takes delight in his people.
Let them praise his name in the festive dance,
let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.
For the LORD loves his people,
and he adorns the lowly with victory.
R. The Lord takes delight in his people.
Let the faithful exult in glory;
let them sing for joy upon their couches;
Let the high praises of God be in their throats.
This is the glory of all his faithful. Alleluia.
R. The Lord takes delight in his people.

Gospel: John 3:22-30

Jesus and his disciples went into the region of Judea,
where he spent some time with them baptizing.
John was also baptizing in Aenon near Salim,
because there was an abundance of water there,
and people came to be baptized,
for John had not yet been imprisoned.
Now a dispute arose between the disciples of John and a Jew
about ceremonial washings.
So they 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 everyone is coming to him.”
John answered and said,
“No one can receive anything except what has been given from heaven.
You yourselves can testify that I said that I am not the Christ,
but that I was sent before him.
The one who has the bride is the bridegroom;
the best man, who stands and listens for him,
rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice.
So this joy of mine has been made complete.
He must increase; I must decrease.”

jan 9

“We know that anyone begotten by God does not sin.” Me? Are you talking to me?

Because I do believe I am a child of God, but I am so often discouraged about the way sin repeatedly worms its ways into my days. I wonder what the trick is to just get it right finally. When will I finally be holy?

Sometimes I am quite certain that I am my own worst enemy. But the Scripture reminds us today that we have an enemy, the Evil One, who controls the world around us. He has rigged the game for us to lose.

I am not sure whether to feel better knowing it’s not just me or despair because how in the world am I ever supposed to overcome that deficit?

I just want to love God and others well. I want to be true to the One who is true.

Satan gets in my way. Sin gets in my way. But I get in my own way too.

I trip over my own two feet so often when I take my eyes off my own path to watch what’s happening in someone else’s lane.

Maybe it feels like my journey is too slow, arduous. Maybe it feels like I’m running low on fuel. Maybe it feels like I have come to a stop while everyone else is gaining speed in life.

Whatever it is that calls me to let my gaze wander from own path and sends me drifting on the waves of self-doubt, the end result is the same.

Worry about myself, what I’m doing wrong, why God isn’t blessing me means my focus is all internal, me, me, me.

The deeper I gaze into my own issues, the less space there is for Him to come do the very thing He came to do—save me from myself.

We are moving from the days of the tiny Babe lying vulnerable in a manger to the time dedicated to ordering our lives to life of the Master, who showed us that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Let me enter that time remembering to get myself out of His way so I can walk in truth and find the fullness of life—victorious over sin, Satan, and my own self-seeking.

Ask yourself today where you are getting God’s way. Where do you need to decrease so that He can increase?

photo by Madi Myers-Cook

Colleen Mitchell is wife to Greg and mother to five amazing sons here on earth. They serve in Costa Rica where they run the St. Francis Emmaus Center, a ministry that welcomes indigenous mothers into their home to provide them access to medical care, support and education in the weeks before and after the birth of a child. Find out more about her here.

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