Daily Mass Reflections - 1/7
“Those who keep his commandments remain in him, and he in them” ~ 1 John 3:24
Today’s 1st Reading (1 John 3:22-4:6) drives home the importance of a life rooted in Jesus and his commandments, one in which we acknowledge Jesus as the spirit of our very being. John reminds us that shrewd and cunning false prophets have gone out into the world and will continue to do so, but their teachings, which are strictly of this world, will ultimately shed the light of truth upon them. Although the secular world will hold these “antichrists“ (as John calls them) in high esteem, those who belong to God will instead place their hope in him. The truth after all, is written on the true believer’s heart. It cannot be altered, erased or ignored.
In today’s Gospel (Matthew 4:12-17, 23-25) Jesus implores us to “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." The old order is gone and a new order is emerging as the Israelites have been called to radically change their lives, their vision and yes, their expectations regarding death and eternal life. God’s Kingdom is yet to come and it is currently at hand; this is one of the great mysteries of our faith.
We too are called to live even now as members of this new kingdom, one in which salvation is a gift freely given to all those who strive to know, love, and serve God in this world so that we may be with him for all of eternity in the next. John tells us that “everyone who acknowledges Jesus as the Son of God will live forever in the Spirit of God.” There’s no misinterpreting this one; Jesus is the way...there is no other path. This is the promise that was borne out of the birth of our Savior, a message of eternal hope for all who believe.