Jan 4th - Reflections and Liturgy

*4th January 2020, Saturday*, 1 John 3:7-10 / 1:35-42 *Plus Liturgical Prayers*

Two disciples meet Jesus: The time was about four o’clock.

Ask people where they were when Pearl Harbor was bombed or when President Kennedy was shot, and most of them can tell you where they were and what time of day it was when they first heard the news.

In a similar way, the disciples in today’s reading remembered their first meeting with Jesus.
One of the disciples was Andrew; the other is not named. But most people think it was John, the evangelist, because he gives the exact time and place of the meeting: at four o’clock, on the banks of the Jordan.
Recall a memorable moment in our own relationship with Jesus. When and where did it take place?
“Jesus Christ is the one who is great, little girl. I knew him long before them rock and roll freaks made him a superstar.’’ Archie Bunker
Can we imagine a world where the only light that we have is sunlight?

Which means to say that after sunset, there is no electric bulbs to light up and probably the only light that is available is candle-light or the kerosene lamp.

Well, it is not that difficult to imagine if we were to go to some rural area where there is no electricity and after sunset there is only fuel lamps to give light.

That would mean that when it is coming close to sunset and last-light, we have to get ourselves prepared for the darkness of the night.

If we are not prepared for that darkness of the night, then it would be better to stay put and not move around till sunrise.

In the gospel, the meeting of Jesus and the two disciples happened at a particular time. The gospel has this detail that it was about the tenth hour, which means it was about 4 o'clock in the afternoon.

In the context of the gospel, there were no electric bulbs to light up for the night. So it means that 4 o'clock in the afternoon is time to call it a day and to get ready for the night.

For the two disciples, it was a time to decide as to what they want to do after that meeting with Jesus.

As for us, we know that Jesus is the true light. We too need to decide what we want to do to prepare when the darkness of life envelopes us.

Would we still want to rely on the security of the artificial lights or would we place our trust on Jesus the true light.

May we not rely on artificial lights but follow the true light so that we will not be afraid the dark nights of life.
*4th Jan Saturday, LITURGY:*


*Introduction: *
“Come and see,” says Jesus to the two disciples of John who were curious about him. They came and saw their Savior and followed him. “Come and see.” Would that we could say the same to people today and show them Christ present in our midst. Would they find him among us? And do we ourselves recognize Christ passing among us?

*Opening Prayer: *
Lord our God,
your Son passes among us
as the saving Lamb,
and often we are not aware of his presence.
Give us eyes of faith
that we may see a glimpse of him
in the love and compassion of people around us,
in their encouragement and help,
in their concern for justice.
For in their goodness you show yourself
through your Son Jesus Christ,
who lives with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

*Commentary: *
Today the gospel of John claims that the person who belongs to Christ cannot sin. This is in seeming contradiction to his earlier statement that we all sin and cannot claim that we are innocent (1:8). Here John speaks of a sinful way of life, not the occasional mishaps that befall all of us (5:16f). In other words, we set ourselves on the right course and strive to adhere to it. That is a sinless way of life. For John there are only two possibilities: to choose death and abandon Christ or to choose life and remain with the Lord on our earthly journey, occasional mishaps notwithstanding.
This all corresponds well with the call of the first disciples in today’s Gospel. Two of them, one of whom is Andrew, ask Jesus, “Where are you staying?” The question can be read on two levels, one regarding Jesus’ place of residence; the other, the divine indwelling. The truth is that Jesus “stays” in the Father and the Father in him. In “coming” and “seeing,” the disciples are invited to a deeper life in God. Later, Andrew goes to his brother Simon and claims to have met the Messiah. The journey of faith has begun.
It is interesting to note that the first disciples are not said to be fishermen. In John there are no boats or nets; they are simply disciples of the Baptist, who pass from him to the Lord. In the synoptic tradition, Simon’s change of name comes later. In John, Jesus calls him Cephas (“Peter”) right away.
The passage from sin to grace, from Satan to Christ, is a matter of choice. But once undertaken, it represents a complete transition. It is as different from a sinful way of life as darkness is from light. The Christmas season reminds us of what that choice has meant in our own lives.
We are often saddened when people dear to us no longer walk the path of faith, when the Eucharist and the other sacraments no longer have meaning for them. Yet prayer can work wonders, as St. Monica discovered after years of praying for her son St. Augustine. In our love for those whose faith has grown dim, let us never fail to bring them before the Lord. At the same time, we are grateful to know where the Lord “is staying.” We too dwell with Father, Son, and Spirit in the household of God.

*Points to Ponder: *
To come and see
Staying with the Lord
Dangers to faith today
Love for the erring

*Intercessions: *
– For those who have heard the special call of Jesus, “Come, follow me,” that they may remain faithful to their vocation, we pray:
– For those who preach the Gospel: of Jesus, that their own life may be a constant invitation for people to live according to the Gospel, we pray:
– For our communities, that leaders and members may go together the way of the Lord as companions and friends, we pray:

*Prayer over the Gifts: *
Lord God, our Father,
you invite us to come and see
your Son Jesus Christ, our Savior,
in these signs of bread and wine.
May he stay with us not only here
in this Eucharistic celebration
but in the daily events of life,
that he may brighten their drabness
with his living nearness
and that he may change
the way we look at people and things,
for he is our Lord and Savior forever.

*Prayer after Communion: *
Lord, living God,
we thank you for having gathered us
around our brother Jesus Christ
and for restoring us with the strength
of his body and blood.
Let him stay with us
as our companion in life,
that we too may say to those we encounter:
“Come and see” Jesus alive among us.
Come and see how we try to love and serve one another.
Come and see how there is among us
justice and hope and trust.
Help us to say and live this in all sincerity
by the power of Jesus Christ our Lord.

*Blessing: *
“We have found the Savior,” exclaims the apostle. We too have found him. May this be our joy and prompt us to tell others about it. May all of us find him, with the blessing of almighty God, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.