An idea is not necessarily true just because it is new, but neither is it true because it is old. Jesus certainly did not disdain the past, but he did refuse to be bound by traditions. His wholehearted commitment was to the truth. Lord, when I am wrong make me willing to change and when I am right make me easy to live with.
Second Sunday in Ordinary Time –
We find the Messiah in every individual who gives of his or her time to those in need of comfort or support. We have encountered the Christ in every act of forgiveness, in every effort at reconciling with those who are lost and forgotten, in every act of selfless generosity and humble compassion. Let us be more attentive to God’s presence.
Maybe it is time for us to stop looking down on others whom we consider as ‘different’ and like Jesus sit down with them, as Jesus did with Matthew, for eye-to-eye contact and see the goodness in each other. This will give us the opportunity to pass on Jesus’ torch of friendship and love. With this kind of contact healing goes on and on. It is ours to give; it is ours to receive.
Forgiveness and healing brought together in today’s gospel proclaim God’s desire and intention to restore wholeness to every dimension of our lives. Unlike the gift of forgiveness, healing is something that can be verified through lab tests and a doctor’s visit. With forgiveness, there is always a possibility that old mistakes are still under the surface. Sins from the past can poison our spiritual lives. They can paralyze us. But words of forgiveness offer freedom and new life.
My friends all of life is sacred from beginning to end. In the scriptures religion is not a part of life or an addition to life; it is the whole of life. Let us determine today to put our faith, our religion into action because that is how we will be judged. When I was hungry you gave me something to eat. When I was thirsty you gave me a drink. When I was naked you clothed me. When I was sick you visited me.
St. Hilary –
We live in a fast-paced world which make demands on us on us but let us never forget that as followers of Jesus we have a great source of power and that is our life of prayer. Remember, every moment reveals God to us. To keep life in perspective, we need our “God” time every day.
Evil is very real as you and I know from our own personal experience of sin. It is everywhere and it is immensely powerful. It is no different now than it was in those prescientific days of Jesus when everything was explained away by blaming it on an evil spirit. We have only become more sophisticated. We have used our intelligence and the wonderful gifts of science and turned these gifts into instruments of death and destruction. Let us renew the Spirit of Jesus in our world!
Merely abstaining from sin is not the reform Jesus expects. Transformation involves a complete change of heart. For all of us it means an acknowledgment that over the years we have allowed some unchristian attitudes and outlooks to cloud our vision which are preventing us from improving the world in which we live. In this new year let us resolve to newness in our life.
The Baptism of the Lord –
All of us have something to give. Even when our pockets are empty, we can give friendship. This human spirit which we all have is filled with endless resources if we will only begin to share that spirit. All it takes is a little time and a minimum of effort going about and doing good works as Jesus did.
The Baptist’s model, He must increase, I must decrease is not easy to follow. We all know how much easier it is to make gods, as it were, of our ideas, our needs, our reputation, our comfort. Yet we all know the emptiness in this kind of living. The decrease of self-concern, the emptying of self-centeredness, and the increase of Christ as the center of one’s life is the secret of an exemplary Christian life.