Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 04.01.2022
1ST JOHN 3: 22 – 4: 6
Beloved: We receive from God whatever we ask, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. All who keep his commandments abide in him, and he in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit which he has given us. Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit which does not confess Jesus is not of God. This is the spirit of antichrist, of which you heard that it was coming, and now it is in the world already. Little children, you are of God, and have overcome them; for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world, therefore what they say is of the world, and the world listens to them. We are of God. Whoever knows God listens to us, and he who is not of God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
The Word of the Lord.
Psalm 2: 7 – 8, 10 – 11 (R.) 8a
R/. I will give you the nations as your inheritance.
I will announce the decree of the Lord
The Lord said to me, “You are my Son.
It is I who have begotten you this day.
Ask of me and I will give you
the nations as your inheritance,
and the ends of the earth as your possession.” R/.
“So now, O kings, understand;
take warning, rulers of the earth.
Serve the Loan with fear;
exult with trembling, pay him your homage.” R/.
Matthew 4: 23.
Jesus was preaching the Gospel of the kingdom and healing every infirmity among the people.
MATTHEW 4: 12 – 17, 23 – 25
At that time: When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee; and leaving Nazareth he went and dwelt in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali towards the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles — the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.” From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” And he went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every infirmity among the people. So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, and paralytics, and he healed them. And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan.
The Gospel of the Lord
REFLECTION: Seeking Out the Needy
January 3, 2022
They brought to Jesus all who were sick with various diseases and racked with pain, those who were possessed, lunatics, and paralytics, and he cured them. (Matthew 4:24b)
Now that we have completed our Christmas Octave celebration and have also celebrated the Epiphany of the Lord, we begin to turn our eyes to Jesus’ public ministry. Today’s Gospel reveals the beginning of His ministry after John the Baptist had been arrested. In this Gospel, many who were in need were brought to Jesus.
We can look at this passage from different perspectives. We can look at it from the perspective of the ministry of Jesus, from the perspective of those who have been cured, but also from the perspective of those who brought others to Jesus. It’s this latter perspective that we reflect upon today.
Imagine yourself being one of those who brought to Jesus those with “various diseases,” those “racked with pain,” and those who were “possessed, lunatics and paralytics.” Do you have the necessary love, concern and compassion to be one who brings these people to Jesus?
Often times, when we encounter those who are hurting or are the “rejects” of society, we tend to look down on them. It takes a very merciful and compassionate person to see the dignity of these people and to do something to help them heal and encounter the love of God. Reaching out to those in serious need requires great humility on our part and requires a truly non-judgmental heart. The Son of God came into our world to bring healing and salvation to all people. It’s our duty to help bring all people to Jesus, no matter their condition, level of need, or societal status.
Reflect, today, upon those who fall into this category in your own life. Who is it that is hurting and in need? Who is it that you may be tempted to judge and criticize? Who is it who is broken, sad, confused, misguided or spiritually ill? Perhaps there are people who are physically ill that God is calling you to reach out to, or perhaps it’s someone who is mentally, morally or spiritually ill in some way. How do you treat them? Today’s Gospel calls us to follow the example of these first disciples of Jesus by seeking out those in need and looking for ways to bring them to Jesus, the Divine Healer. Commit yourself to this act of compassion and you will be blessed for your goodness.
Lord, please give me a heart of mercy and compassion. Help me to realize that You came for all people, especially those who are in serious need. Give me the grace to do my part so that all people will come to enter into Your healing presence. Jesus, I trust in You.