3RD JANUARY 2022
LIFE IN THE SPIRIT OF GOD
1Jn 3:22-4:6; Ps 2:7-8.10-11; Mt 4:12-17.23-25
In the first reading John shows how one can belong to Christ and to God: when one is committed to keep God’s commandments; that is how we show our love to God and that is how we get the spirit of God, different from the spirit of the world which is spirit of slavery of sin. So, whenever we choose sin, we are disobeying the commandments of God and therefore refusing the spirit of life which comes from God.
Today’s Gospel describes the beginning of Jesus’ mission of preaching and healing in Galilee, an ideal spot because it was the most fertile land in Palestine and well-populated with 204 villages around the Sea of Galilee housing Jews and Gentiles. The Jews there largely belonged to the tribes of Asher, Naphtali, and Zebulon. The people were open to new ideas because they had been exposed to various religious beliefs and the culture of traders from all over the known world.
Jesus started preaching the Good News about God the
Father and about God’s Kingdom. Since it was God the King’s message, it carried God’s authority and certainty; it was “Good News” because Jesus introduced the hearers to God His Father as a loving, merciful, providing, and forgiving Father Who wanted to save everyone from the bondage of sin. The message also gave the listeners the
“Good News” of the Kingdom of God or the rule of God in human lives. Continuation John’s message, Jesus, too, invited the hearers to repentance and the renewal of their lives so that God might start ruling their lives. Matthew identified Jesus’ preaching and healing ministry in Galilee as the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah — Light to people living in darkness.
As Christians we have been given Jesus’ mission to continue. 2) Hence, our exemplary, transparent lives must be and so carry our message radiating the light of Christ’s love, mercy, forgiveness, and spirit of humble and committed service.