Jesus always goes to the heart of the matter. In today’s Gospel, John 1:35-42, two of John the Baptist’s disciples start following Him. He turns to them and poses a crucial question – a question that He also poses to you and to me today: “What are you looking for?”
As we enter into this new year, Jesus’ question is more pertinent than ever. What are you and I looking for? Money? Prestige? Career advancements? Relationships? Revenge? Security? Well-being? Good health? Each one of us needs to reflect on what we are looking for. No matter what it is that we are looking for, Jesus is the ultimate solution. Jesus needs to be our minute-by-minute companion in this new year.
In today’s Gospel, John 1:29-34, John the Baptist sees Jesus coming towards him and says, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world….”
A few days ago, I was in conversation with a man who frequently calls me . I asked him why Jesus came into this world. His response was that “Jesus came into this world to save him from himself.” Right on target! Jesus comes into this world to save us from ourselves. We are all sinners trapped in the prison of self. Jesus enters our world to free us from sin … to free us from our selves … to free us to tap our potential and become the person that He knows that we can be. Jesus comes to be our savior.
A Blessed, Peace-filled and fruitful 2018 to all of humankind!
As we enter this New Year, Galatians 4:4-7, has Good News for all of us.
“Brothers and sisters: When the fullness of time had come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. As proof that you are sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’ So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then also an heir, through God.”
This New Year will be filled with ups and downs, joys and sorrows, as every year finds itself. But we who believe know that we are not alone as we journey through this year. We are not on the margins but rather in the warmth of the household. We are beloved children of God, our Father, who sends His Son to be our companion and savior on the journey.
2017 is in its last hours!
It is a time to assess the waning year. It is a time to give thanks to God for His goodness and mercy to us during the year. It is a time to ask for forgiveness for our sins and shortcomings. It is a time to look forward with renewed faith and determination. It is a time to ask some important questions.
- Who am I?
- What kind of person am I becoming?
- What kind of person is God calling me to be?
These are the profound questions of life. These are the questions that ultimately matter.
The first letter of John, 2:3-11, presents us with the great challenge of the Christian life – to love!
“… I do write a new commandment to you … Whoever says that he is in the light , yet hates his brother, is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother remains in the light, … Whoever hates his brother is in darkness; he walks in darkness and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”
We are commanded to love our brothers and sisters and there are no exceptions .. not even for ISIS and serial killers and rapists and those who have broken trust with us and have deeply hurt us. NO EXCEPTIONS.
Two things are important to understand:
- Every single human being is my brother/sister. Jesus made that abundantly clear in His teachings, especially in the story of the Good Samaritan. And of course, Jesus came into this wold to be Saviour for all of us and His death on the cross was for all of us;
- We are commanded to love all men and women. That does not mean that we like all men and women or that we approve of their actions. We may find ourselves disliking many people. We may disapprove of their actions. We may find ourselves fighting them to protect our rights. BUT we may not hate them. We may not seek to destroy them. We may seek justice but we may not seek revenge. We must love them.
What is love as taught by Jesus?
LOVE IS THE CONSCIOUS CHOICE THAT I MAKE FOR THE GOOD OF ANOTHER!
I pray for my brothers and sisters. I wish them no harm. I pray for their conversion. I pray for their well being. If they are doing evil things, I will do my best to stop them. I will pray for them to turn away from the evil they do. I will do my best to help them see the Light. We are all called to be children of the Light.