Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 02.01.2023
1ST JOHN 2: 22 – 28
Beloved: Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. Anyone who denies the Son does not have the Father. He who confesses the Son has the Father also. Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he has promised us, eternal life. I write this to you about those who would deceive you; but the anointing which you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that any one should teach you; as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie, just as it has taught you, abide in him. And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.
The Word of the Lord.
Psalm 98: 1, 2 – 3ab, 3cd – 4 (R.) 3cd
R/. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
O sing a new song to the Lord,
for he has worked wonders.
His right hand and his holy arm
have brought salvation. R/.
The Lord has made known his salvation,
has shown his deliverance to the nations.
He has remembered his merciful love and
his truth for the house of Israel. R/.
All the ends of the earth have
seen the salvation of our God.
Shout to the Lord, all the earth;
break forth into joyous song,
and sing out your praise. R/.
Hebrews 11: 2
In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son.
“He who comes after me.”
JOHN 1: 19 – 28
This is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed, he did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” And he answered, “No.” They said to him then, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” He said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord, ’as the prophet Isaiah said.” Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, “Then why are you baptising, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?” John answered them, “I baptise with water; but among you stands one whom you do not know, even he who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” This took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptising.
The Gospel of the Lord.
GOSPEL REFLECTION: The Greatness of Humility
Monday, January 2, 2023
“I baptize with water; but there is one among you whom you do not recognize, the one who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.” (John 1:26–27)
Now that our Christmas Octave is completed, we immediately begin to look toward the future ministry of our Lord. In our Gospel today, Saint John the Baptist is the one who points us to that future ministry of Jesus. He acknowledges his mission to baptize with water is one that is temporary and only a preparation for the One Who is coming after him.
As we saw in several of our Advent readings, Saint John the Baptist is a man of great humility. His admission that he is not worthy to untie even Jesus’ sandal straps is proof of this fact. But ironically, it is this humble admission that makes him so great!
Do you want to be great? Deep down we all do. This desire goes hand in hand with our innate desire for happiness. We want our lives to have meaning and purpose, and we want to make a difference. The question is “How?” How do you do this? How do you achieve true greatness?
From a worldly perspective, greatness can often become synonymous with success, riches, power, admiration from others, etc. But from a divine perspective, greatness is achieved by humbly giving God the greatest glory we can with our lives.
Giving God all the glory has a double effect upon our lives. First, doing so allows us to live in accord with the truth of life. The truth is that God and God alone deserves all our praise and glory. All good things come from God and God alone. Second, humbly giving God all the glory and pointing to the fact that we are unworthy of Him has the reciprocal effect of God reaching down and elevating us to share in His life and His glory.
Reflect, today, upon your calling to imitate the humility of Saint John the Baptist. Never shy away from humbling yourself before the greatness and glory of God. Doing so will not demean you or hamper your greatness. Rather, only in the deepest humility before the glory of God is God able to draw you into the greatness of His very life and mission.
Lord, I give all glory and praise to You and You alone. You are the source of all good; without You I am nothing. Help me to continually humble myself before You so that I may share in the glory and greatness of Your life of grace. Jesus, I trust in You.