1 John 3:11-21; Psalms 100:1-2, 3, 4, 5; John 1:43-51
During this second week of Christmas, having just celebrated Jesus’ birth - the incarnation of the Most Holy One - it seems a bit odd to be reflecting on the adult Jesus and how he chose his first disciples. Yet as I prayed with today’s readings, the Gospel passage seemed to me to be an allegory of our personal Christmas – remembering how God is born – and borne – by each of us as we open our hearts, our minds, our bodies to the mystery of God’s love.
1 John 3:7-10; John 1:35-42
"What are you looking for?" Jesus asks Simon Peter and Andrew.
Simon Peter and his brother Andrew were restless. They had become disciples of John the Baptist, hoping he could speak to their restlessness. They were baptized in the Jordan River by John as a sign of repentance. Yet John's baptism was not enough. They were looking for more.
Sirach 24:1-4, 8-12; Ephesians 1:3-6, 15-18; John 1:1-18
The Power of the Word
You might say that during the Christmas season we are celebrating the mystery of the Incarnation, except that that is far too abstract: really, we are celebrating the birth of a child. Of course, this child is True God of True God, the one who has come to save us from destroying ourselves, the one who has come to satisfy every right desire. Still at the heart of it is the birth of a baby, after a long wait.
1 John 2:22-28; Psalm 98:1, 2-3ab, 3cd-4; John 1:19-28
A new year, a new beginning. This time of year is so full of hope and promise.
I always get a boost of energy from new beginnings... a new month, a new semester, a new fiscal year, and the ultimate new beginning is the New Year. With the new I am bombarded with top ten lists and suggestions for the best resolutions. And I readily jump in to the excitement.
MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE
FOR THE CELEBRATION OF THE
54th WORLD DAY OF PEACE
1 JANUARY 2021
A CULTURE OF CARE AS A PATH TO PEACE
1. At the dawn of a new year, I extend cordial greetings to Heads of State and Government, leaders of International Organizations, spiritual leaders and followers of the different religions, and to men and women of good will. To all I offer my best wishes that the coming year will enable humanity to advance on the path of fraternity, justice and peace between individuals, communities, peoples and nations.
Psalms 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8
Today's feast honoring Mary, the mother of God, opens the new year with a foundational Christian faith reality: that God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten Son to be our brother and our rescuer, to paraphrase St. John's Gospel. Mary's part in this divine plan began with the Annunciation of the wonderful birth she would experience in bringing forth Jesus, the Word of God made flesh. Her motherhood of Jesus ended with her at the foot of the cross Our faith invites us to meditate on Mary, the mother of Jesus and the mother of God.
Our prayer for the New Year 2021 - for all of you who visit our website - is from the letter of St Paul to the Ephesians :
"I pray that out of his glorious riches
he may strengthen you with power
through his Spirit in your inner being,
so that Christ may dwell in your hearts
And I pray that you, being rooted
and established in love,
may have power,
together with all the saints,
to grasp how wide and long and high
and deep is the love of Christ,
and to know this love
that surpasses knowledge
that you may be filled
to the measure of all the fullness
By Vatican News staff reporter
Pope Francis, suffering from an attack of sciatica, was absent from the celebration of Vespers and the recitation of the Te Deum – the Church’s solemn chant of Thanksgiving for the past year – but nonetheless offered a reflection on how we can give thanks for the year that is drawing to a close.
Today (…) in the towm of David
a Savior has been born to you;
He is Christ the Lord.
1 John 2:18-21; John 1:1-18
1. He Came to His Own: Our God came looking for us. “It is not that we have loved God, but that he has first loved us” (Cf. 1 John 4:10). What is it that so attracts God to us? The Bible uses images of the love of a spouse or a parent to help us understand how deeply God desires to make us his own. He knows that this is where our true happiness lies. Often, he looks for man in mysterious ways, but in Jesus Christ he plainly shows himself and his desire to be with us. Do I appreciate the gift of the Incarnation? Do I understand a bit better each day how humbly and powerfully God looks for my love?
From my childhood I often heard about the name St. Joseph since my father chose the name Joseph as he received his baptism as an adult. He said he loved the name because he also loved the Blessed Virgin Mary just from the catechism. Being from the pastoralists, he was not so keen. Perhaps he did like the name Joseph and Mary and nothing more. However, this name for me remained in my heart as a child. But after entering into lots of challenges in my journey to religious life, I did not know who to tell my desire.
I grew up in the shadow of the Appalachian Mountains, in the State of West Virginia, USA. My father was a coal miner, and it was a constant struggle for him to keep us supplied with the thing that most people take for granted. My parents were proud people who made their own way. Saints standing piously with hands folded in prayer meant little to them. Life was about doing what had to be done on a daily basis.