January 3, 2018

Jan. 3

January 3, 2018:  Wednesday before Epiphany / Holy Name of Jesus

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For gospel
Pope Francis General Audience
To prepare to celebrate the Eucharist, we acknowledge we've sinned.  We confess this as a community but speak personally: “I have sinned.”  A presumptuous heart can't receive God’s pardon, just as only by recognizing our faults and asking for forgiveness can we pardoned by others.  We confess we've sinned in thought, word, and deed; it's not enough to do no harm.  We must do good and bear witness to others that we're Christ's disciples.  It's hard to admit our own shortcomings, but we must learn to confess them instead of accusing others.
Like the humble publican, we recognize we're unworthy of God’s mercy and forgiveness.  We then beg the intercession of Our Lady and the angels and saints to lead us to holiness and conversion.  The priest then pronounces absolution: “May God have mercy on us, forgive us, and bring us to everlasting life.”  This expresses our trust in God’s forgiveness and reconciliation.  We join the line of biblical figures who acknowledged their sin before God with confidence in the power of his grace.  Full text
Read
  • 1 Jn 2:29–3:6  Everyone who acts justly is begotten by God.  We're God's children, and we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.  Everyone with this hope makes himself pure, but everyone who sins commits lawlessness.  He, sinless, was revealed to take away sins.  No one in him sins; no one who sins has known him.
  • Ps 98:1, 3cd-6  "All the ends of the earth have seen God's saving power."  Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds....
  • Jn 1:29-34  John the Baptist, seeing Jesus approach, said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, the one of whom I said, 'One will come after me who ranks ahead of me.'  I didn't know him, but I baptized with water to make him known.  I saw the Spirit come down from the sky and rest on him.  The one who sent me to baptize told me, 'The one you see the Spirit rest on is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.'  I have seen and testified he is the Son of God."
Reflect
  • Creighton:  When John the Baptist saw Jesus coming, he told those gathered he'd “seen the Spirit come down like a dove and remain upon him” when Jesus was baptized.  The Father had indicated to John that the one on whom the Spirit remained would baptize with the Holy Spirit.”  The importance of the gift of God’s Son began to be apparent to John's listeners, and now, all open to Jesus' message.  Today's 1st reading reminds us that though we may know the Lord's words, and feel we know him, to be “in him” we must live by his example, acting out of love for others, making sure he's in all we do.  May the "new song" we sing to the Lord be a renewal of our life in Jesus.
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Living hope":  As we celebrate the Hope of the World coming to us, many are "without hope."  "Hope deferred makes the heart sick."  "But hope is not hope if its object is seen."  Jesus comes to give us a living hope. "Hope is the confident expectation of divine blessing and the beatific vision of God; it is also the fear of offending God's love...."  Hope based on Jesus gives us strength to resist sin and expect blessing, even in the face of difficulties.  In Jesus difficulties give us greater virtue and lead to greater hope that overcomes disappointment.  Come to Jesus and find hope.
  • Passionist:  Once I yielded to the Holy Spirit, my faith went from religion to relationship with a living, loving Lord.  We often don't take advantage of the Holy Spirit.  Invite the Spirit to be more active in your life, and get ready for an adventure!  Listen, notice, and receive all God wants to do for and in you.
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Behold the Lamb of God!"  John calls Jesus the Lamb of God, signifying Jesus' mission as Redeemer.  The blood of the Passover Lamb delivered the Israelites from slavery and death. The blood Jesus poured out cleanses, heals, and frees us.  John was the son of Zechariah, a priest who participated in the daily sacrifice of a lamb for the people's sins.  John recognized Jesus as the unblemished lamb offered by the Father as the sacrifice to cancel the debt of sin and free us from death and destruction.  When he said he didn't know Jesus, he was referring to Jesus' hidden divinity, but then the Spirit revealed Jesus' true nature to him, and he bore witness that this is the Son of God.  The Spirit makes Christ known to us through faith.  God gives us his Spirit to open us to receive and comprehend God's plan to unite all things in his Son.  Lord, pour your Spirit on you to deepen my faith, hope, and love....
Dress legend
  • 'Children' pin:  We're God's children now (1st reading)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  We'll see God as he is (1st reading); all have seen God's saving power (psalm); "I've seen and testified the Jesus is the Son of God" (gospel)
    • 'Hand' tie pin:  The Lord's right hand has won victory (psalm)
    • 'Angel with trumpet' pin:  Sing before the Lord with trumpets (psalm)
    • 'Musical notes with "joy"' tie pin:  Sing joyfully... (psalm)
    • 'Crown' tie bar:  ...before the King, the Lord (psalm)
    • 'Olympics' tie pin:  All the earth has seen God's saving power (psalm)
    • 'Lamb' tie bar:  "Behold, the Lamb of God" (gospel)
    • Blue in shirt:  John baptized with water to make Jesus known (gospel)
    • 'Dove' pin:  "I saw the Spirit come down like a dove and rest on Jesus"; "He will baptize with the Holy Spirit" (gospel)
    • "No-'L'" button, Christmas tie:  Christmas season