Daily Bible Reading - January 5, 2024

Daily Bible Reading - January 5, 2024
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Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc.

THURSDAY BEFORE EPIPHANY

Psalter: Week 1 / (White)

St. John Neumann, bishop

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 100: 1b-2, 3, 4, 5: Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.

1st Reading: 1 Jn 3: 11-21

For this is the message taught to you, from the beginning: we must love one another.

Do not imitate Cain, who killed his brother, for he belonged to the Evil One. Why did he kill him? Because he, himself, did evil, and his brother did good.

So, be not surprised, brothers, if the world hates us; we love our brothers and sisters, and with this, we know, that we have passed from death to life.

The one who does not love, remains in death. The one who hates his brother is a murderer, and, as you know, eternal life does not remain in the murderer.

This is how we have known what love is: he gave his life for us. We, too, ought to give our life for our brothers and sisters.

If anyone enjoys the riches of this world, but closes his heart when he sees his brother or sister in need, how will the love of God remain in him?

My dear children, let us love, not only with words and with our lips, but in truth and in deed. Then, we shall know that we are of the truth, and we may calm our conscience in his presence.

Every time it reproaches us, let us say: God is greater than our conscience, and he knows everything. When our conscience does not condemn us, dear friends, we may have complete confidence in God.

Gospel: Jn 1: 43-51

The next day, Jesus decided to set off for Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Philip was from Bethsaida, the town of Andrew and Peter.

Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the law, and the prophets: he is Jesus, son of Joseph, from Nazareth.” Nathanael replied, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”

When Jesus saw Nathanael coming, he said of him, “Here comes an Israelite, a true one; there is nothing false in him.”

Nathanael asked him, “How do you know me?”

And Jesus said to him, “Before Philip called you, you were under the fig tree, and I saw you.”

Nathanael answered, “Master, you are the Son of God! You are the king of Israel!”

But Jesus replied, “You believe because I said, ‘I saw you under the fig tree.’

But you will see greater things than that. Truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

REFLECTION:

“Openness”

As Jesus’ disciples, why do we need some kind of pruning? For even while it is true that we have already decided to follow Jesus, our life has not been overhauled overnight.

We are not yet finished. We are still in process. At times, we still exhibit a certain duplicity in the kind of faith we profess in relation to the kind of life we lead.

Sometimes we say , for example, we love God while we keep hating one another. There is a need to bridge the gap between our profession of faith and our everyday life. Our close-minded disposition widens this gap between faith and life.

The antidote to this, therefore, is openness. We need to be more open should we want to become more integrated individuals. Jesus’ invitation to his early followers was to “come and see.” This invitation is a summons to be more open.

Openness is the first step toward integration. When we are open, we can accept the truth about ourselves – the beautiful and not-so-beautiful alike. Openness also enables us to transform, through the help of God’s grace, whatever is not beautiful about us into something that contributes to making us whole and guileless.

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