Readings 20150103

The following reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager (c) 2015, whose website is located at DailyScripture.net

John calls Jesus the Lamb of God and thus signifies Jesus’ mission as the One who redeems us from our sins. The blood of the Passover Lamb (Exodus 12) delivered the Israelites in Egypt from slavery and death. The Lord Jesus freely offered up his life for us on the cross as the atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 Corinthians 5:7). The blood which he poured out for us on the cross cleanses, heals, and frees us from our slavery to sin, and from the “wages of sin which is death” (Romans 6:23) and the “destruction of both body and soul in hell” (Matthew 10:28).
John points to Jesus’ saving mission – to offerup his life as the atoning sacrifice for our sins
It is significant that John was the son of Zachariah, a priest of Israel who participated in the daily sacrifice of a lamb in the temple for the sins of the people (Exodus 29). John recognized that Jesus was the perfect unblemished lamb offered by the Father in heaven as the one and only sacrifice that could cancel the debt of sin, and free us from death and the destruction of body and soul in hell.

The Holy Spirit reveals who Jesus truly is – the Son of God and Savior of the world
When John says he did not know Jesus (John 1:31,33) he was referring to the hidden reality of Jesus’ divinity. But the Holy Spirit in that hour revealed to John Jesus’ true nature, such that John bore witness that this is the Son of God. How can we be certain that Jesus is truly the Christ, the Son of the living God? The Holy Spirit makes the Lord Jesus Christ known to us through the gift of faith. God gives us his Spirit as our helper and guide who opens our hearts and minds to receive and comprehend the great mystery and plan of God – to unite all things in his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:10).

Do you want to grow in the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ? Ask the Lord to pour his Holy Spirit upon you to deepen your faith, hope, and love for God and for the plan he has for your life.

“Lord Jesus Christ, fill me with the power of your Holy Spirit and let me grow in the knowledge of your great love and truth. Let your Spirit be aflame in my heart that I may know and love you more fervently and strive to do your will in all things.”

The following reflection is courtesy of PresentationMinistries.com (c) 2015. Their website is located at PresentationMinistries.com
“O HOLY NIGHT”

“If you consider the holiness that is His, you can be sure that everyone who acts in holiness has been begotten by Him.” —1 John 2:29
One of the main purposes of the Christmas season is to grow in holiness — to become more like God, to take on God’s character. This holy Christmas time begins a holy year in a holy life, which begins a holy, eternal life. The Lord has created us to be holy as He is holy (see 1 Jn 3:3), to be “perfect in holiness” (1 Thes 5:23). We should “hunger and thirst for holiness” (Mt 5:6) and seek first God’s way of holiness (Mt 6:33). We must strive “for that holiness without which no one can see the Lord” (Heb 12:14).

The Lord expects “perfect” holiness from us because He has given us the power to become holy. Because we have been begotten by Him, that is, born again, by faith and baptism, we have a new nature by which we can live a holy life (1 Jn 2:29). Even if we fall into temptation and live according to our old sinful nature, we can repent and be washed clean in Jesus’ blood. Finally, the Father and the Son have given us the third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, Who makes us holy. Because of new life in the waters of baptism, forgiveness through Jesus’ blood shed on Calvary, and the indwelling of the Spirit, the Lord expects us to be holy as He is holy. Have a holy Christmas season.

Prayer: Father, may my desire for holiness be stronger than my desire for pleasure. Promise: “When you see the Spirit descend and rest on Someone, it is He Who is to baptize with the Holy Spirit.” —Jn 1:33 Praise: “The reason [Jesus] revealed Himself was to take away sins” (1 Jn 3:5). Praise the Holy Name of Jesus! (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Be Holy, For I Am Holy.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant my permission to publish One Bread, One Body covering the period from December 1, 2014 through January 31, 2015.
†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 30, 2014.
The rescript is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted ecclesial permission agree with the contents, opinions, or statements

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