DAILY MASS READINGS (January 5, 2019)

SATURDAY OF CHRISTMAS WEEKDAY (CYCLE C, White)

Reading 1 (1 JOHN 3:11-21)

A reading from the 1st Letter of St. John

Beloved:
This is the message you have heard from the beginning:
we should love one another,
unlike Cain who belonged to the Evil One
and slaughtered his brother. 
Why did he slaughter him? 
Because his own works were evil,
and those of his brother righteous. 
Do not be amazed, then, brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. 
We know that we have passed from death to life
because we love our brothers.
Whoever does not love remains in death. 
Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer,
and you know that no murderer has eternal life remaining in him.
The way we came to know love
was that he laid down his life for us;
so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.
If someone who has worldly means
sees a brother in need and refuses him compassion,
how can the love of God remain in him? 
Children, let us love not in word or speech
but in deed and truth.

Now this is how we shall know that we belong to the truth
and reassure our hearts before him
in whatever our hearts condemn,
for God is greater than our hearts and knows everything. 
Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us,
we have confidence in God.

– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 100:1B-2, 3, 4, 5)

R. (2a)  Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
serve the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful song.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
Know that the LORD is God;
he made us, his we are;
his people, the flock he tends.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
his courts with praise;
Give thanks to him; bless his name.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
The LORD is good:
the LORD, whose kindness endures forever,
and his faithfulness, to all generations.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.


Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A holy day has dawned upon us.
Come, you nations, and adore the Lord.
Today a great light has come upon the earth.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Gospel (JOHN 1:43-51)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John

Jesus decided to go to Galilee, and he found Philip. 
And Jesus said to him, “Follow me.” 
Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the town of Andrew and Peter. 
Philip found Nathanael and told him,
“We have found the one about whom Moses wrote in the law, 
and also the prophets, Jesus, son of Joseph, from Nazareth.” 
But Nathanael said to him,
“Can anything good come from Nazareth?” 
Philip said to him, “Come and see.” 
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him,
“Here is a true child of Israel. 
There is no duplicity in him.” 
Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” 
Jesus answered and said to him,
“Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.” 
Nathanael answered him,
“Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” 
Jesus answered and said to him,
“Do you believe 
because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? 
You will see greater things than this.” 
And he said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, 
you will see the sky opened and the angels of God 
ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

– The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection: We are still on Christmas Time. Throughout the Season, we reflect on the Mystery of the Incarnation, when our Lord, the Eternal Word, became flesh, meaning he became man in order that we may merit salvation from sin and that the Father’s unconditional love may be revealed, so that we can also love one another with respect, justice, uprightness, and mercy. This is what Saint John the Beloved reminds us in quoting the words of the Master: that we are to love one another. The Apostle adds that anyone who professes his love for God through mere lip service but then hates his brother is a liar and murderer. It means that both religion and spirituality define our relationship with the Lord and his teachings for us towards one another. Religion should be deeply rooted on our Traditions and devotions in becoming faithful Christians and doing acts of charity and kindness towards others. This is how Jesus taught his Apostles all the time. Especially when he called Philip, he found a good friend, Nathanael (later known as Bartholomew), and told him that they have found the Messiah. At first Nathanael was skeptical about it, but Philip utters the invitation of the Lord to come and see. There this Apostle acknowledged that Jesus is the King of Israel and Son of God after recognizing his calling from the fig tree. There is no big deal with the Apostleship that our Lord Jesus Christ had. For he did not call kings, political leaders, powerful commanders, Jewish priests, and upright luxurious people into his company, but instead he called those in the working classes who lived humble and simple lives, such as fishermen, tax collectors, rebels, etc. Even when the Apostles argued among each other who deserved the seat of glory, he explained to them the daily values they are to manifest especially when they would also become his faithful witnesses. Let us look again at the image of the Child Jesus in the manger. The reason why such a Godhead humbled himself in our nature without sin and was sent into humanity is that we may realize that we are loved by God the Father, whether we are sinners or saints, and that we have a brother and friend to hold on to. The concept of sin is not associated with the Incarnation, but rather through the divine plan which merited us a Redeemer. Most of all, Jesus Christ made us worthy of being called God’s adopted children, meaning to say, brothers and sisters towards one another. And Christians are known by the virtue of love, so as we journey down this Christmas road, let us learn how to love one another with respect, humility, justice, uprightness, prudence, and mercy. May we also use this in our mission of giving witness to the Good News in our everyday lives and practicing our faith as Catholics.

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