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Daily Devotional for August 13

August 13                                                          John 3:22-36

Today's passage places us in the middle of a significant contro-
versy concerning the role of the purification rite of baptism
in the life of the first-century Jewish community. In this passage, 
the controversy between the disciples of John the Baptist and an
unnamed Jew arises because of confusion concerning the 
relationship between the baptism of John and the baptism of
Jesus' disciples.

John responds to the confusion and controversy deliberately
and insightfully, saying that although he has been called to
play a unique and special role, he has not been called to do

John is able to see clearly the place of both his own ministry
and that of Jesus within the cosmic order: Jesus' ministry must
increase, while John's must decrease. John has plumbed the
depths and dimensions of his call and knows that it is enough
for him to be where he is. He is content, and he sees no need
to take on those things which he is really not called to do.

In the same way, we are reminded that each of us has been
called to do something unique and special, and that we are
called and gifted in different ways. This does not diminish the
worth of any of us, it simply makes each of us special. John
is an example for each of us to emulate in recognizing and
fulfilling his or her own call while remaining free of anxiety
or jealousy about the gifts and missions of others.

       Spirit of God, you have called me and gifted me in
  special and unique ways. Teach me how precious is the
     mission you have given me. Enable me to be faithful
               and content through your leading. Amen.

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.1989

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