Catholic Mass Readings and Reflection January 03, 2024


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R/. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

V/. Alleluia R/. Alleluia

V/. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. To all who did receive him, he gave the right to become children of God.

R/. Alleluia

The next day John saw Jesus coming towards him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.” And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.”

1. John the Baptist knows and proclaims Jesus as the “Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world”. He sees him as the Son of God Who is come to save the world. And he bears witness to him as the Lord and Master.

2. Today, we too are specially called by God to become living testimonies for God. We need to personally know Him and see Him. We need to become “light to the nations”, showing the Lord and leading many to Him.

3. Here we note that to know God is not merely intellectual. To see God is not merely perceptual or empirical. The world glorifies itself in its magnitude of knowledge. But the true and highest knowledge is to know God and the height of knowledge of God is to belong to him intimately.

4. Therefore, all such knowledge that is prone to alienate us from God, which is prone to sin and bears no testimony to God’s love and power, is only empty knowledge and even evil and harmful. We can testify to the Lord effectively to the extent we ourselves personally and deeply know him and see him, and commit ourselves to show him to many and lead them to him.

5. It implies a profound personal familiarity and connectivity with God in terms of an intimate inseparable relationship. This makes us passionately rooted in God and unflinchingly loyal to Him.

6. This sets us to accompany others, to enlighten and guide them. This is further to lead them constantly to the same intimacy and relationship with the Lord. This mission and commitment do not stop with a mere personal closeness and relationship with God.

7. It also sets us on a journey of following God’s ways and values. Concretely, it means to part with sin resolutely, to live righteously like God’s children who know him, love him, and live his life, and to bear testimony to him, as did John the Baptist..

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