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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 05.01.24

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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 05.01.24

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1ST JOHN 3: 11 – 21

Beloved: This is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, and not be like Cain who was of the Evil One and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not wonder, brethren, that the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love remains in death. Any one who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. By this we show love, that he laid down his life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But if any one has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or speech but in deed and in truth. By this we shall know that we are of the truth, and reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God

The Word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 100: 1 – 2, 3, 4

R/. Cry out with joy to the Lord, all the earth.

Cry out with joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing for joy. R/.

Know that he, the Lord, is God.
He made us; we belong to him.
We are his people, the sheep of his flock. R/.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with songs of praise.
Give thanks to him, and bless his name. R/.

Indeed, how good is the Lord,
eternal his merciful love.
He is faithful from age to age. R/.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION

Alleluia. Alleluia.
A hallowed day has shone upon us: come, O nations, and adore the Lord; for today a great light has come down to earth.
Alleluia.

GOSPEL
“You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”
JOHN 1: 43 – 51

At that time: Jesus decided to go to Galilee. And he found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael, and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!” Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You shall see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

GOSPEL REFLECTION: Conversion is Contagious
Friday, January 5, 2024

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.” (John 1:43–45)

Recall that in the previous passage of John’s Gospel, Andrew had gone to his brother Peter to tell him that he had found the Messiah. As a result, Peter went to see Jesus and also became His disciple. We have a similar story in today’s Gospel passage that happens shortly after the story in John’s Gospel. After Jesus called Philip to be a disciple, Philip immediately went to find his brother, Nathanael, to tell him the good news. As a result, once Nathanael has a brief encounter with Jesus, Nathanael converts, saying, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.”

In a sense, we can say that conversion is contagious. Once God calls a good and humble soul to follow Him and that soul responds, that person is almost always compelled to share their conversion with others whom they love. And when they share the conversion of their heart with another, their loved one will often become intrigued themselves, possibly even converting.

Conversion is indeed contagious! This is because when we come to know God, fall in love with Him and choose to follow Him, the joy and conviction of our conversion of heart are things we naturally want to share with others. We want others to experience the spiritual peace and joy we have found by discovering Christ with us.

So this begs the question: Has your love of God affected others in your life? If the answer is “Yes,” then this is something to be grateful for. But if the answer is “No,” then perhaps it’s worth pondering why not. Though it may not at all be your fault, it’s good to examine whether you have first allowed yourself to truly experience a deep conversion to Christ and then to ponder whether you have been open to sharing your heart with others.

So begin with the first question. Have you allowed yourself to truly go through a conversion to Christ? A conversion will take on varying degrees. At first, a conversion changes the direction of our lives by opening our eyes to see what truly matters in life. We discover the glory of God and the fulfillment that comes from embracing His will. When this happens, the initially converted soul will often begin to turn from all serious sin, to pray, to read the Scriptures, and to manifest these changes to others.
https://youtu.be/GrM8-uCrfwI?si=CyO8N-pKW6Jx3GiI

But conversions are not only a one-time event. Saint John of the Cross, for example, goes to much length to explain that as a person advances in the life of holiness, there will be a time when they must go through a whole new conversion. Their following of Christ will draw them to another and more profound change in life. Don’t be content with only an initial conversion. Seek also the ongoing process of change that is required by a commitment to follow Christ.

But conversions are not only a one-time event. Saint John of the Cross, for example, goes to much length to explain that as a person advances in the life of holiness, there will be a time when they must go through a whole new conversion. Their following of Christ will draw them to another and more profound change in life. Don’t be content with only an initial conversion. Seek also the ongoing process of change that is required by a commitment to follow Christ.

As for the second question, whether or not your own conversion has inspired those you love to follow Christ, simply pray that God uses you as He wills. Be open to Him, do not be afraid to share your heart, and work to allow the joy of following Christ to radiate from your own life. If others are open, then God will touch them through you.

Reflect, today, upon these two fundamental questions of the spiritual life and recommit yourself to a lifelong process of change, as well as an openness to allowing God to touch others through you. In the end, these two things are all that really matter in life and for eternity.

PRAYER:
Lord of all holiness, please continuously draw me closer to You. Help me to convert in my life, to turn from all sin and to choose to follow You with all my heart. Help me, also, to be open in my faith journey so that others will see all that You are doing in me and receive Your invitation, through me, to follow You. Jesus, I trust in You.

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