3 Jan – Memorial for the Most Holy Name of Jesus
Today’s feast day is a remembrance and celebration of the conferral of the Holy Name of Jesus. A separate votive Mass under this title is found in the revised Roman Missal, and may be used for an annual celebration (e.g. titular of a Church), or as an expression of devotion, which is part of the tradition and spirituality of a religious order. It was formerly listed as the Sunday between 1 and 6 January, if one occurs. It was instituted in the 15th century by the bishops of Germany, Scotland, England, and Belgium. It was extended to the universal Church in 1721. There is a commemoration in the Mass of the Octave of St. Stephen if the feast is kept on the second, of St. John on the third, and of the Holy Innocents on the fourth of January.
– Patron Saint Index
1 John 2:29-3:6
You know that God is righteous –
then you must recognise that everyone whose life is righteous
has been begotten by him.
Think of the love that the Father has lavished on us,
by letting us be called God’s children;
and that is what we are.
Because the world refused to acknowledge him,
therefore it does not acknowledge us.
My dear people, we are already the children of God
but what we are to be in the future has not yet been revealed;
all we know is, that when it is revealed
we shall be like him
because we shall see him as he really is.
Surely everyone who entertains this hope
must purify himself, must try to be as pure as Christ.
Anyone who sins at all
breaks the law,
because to sin is to break the law.
Now you know that he appeared in order to abolish sin,
and that in him there is no sin;
anyone who lives in God does not sin,
and anyone who sins
has never seen him or known him.
Seeing Jesus coming towards him, John said, ‘Look, there is the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. This is the one I spoke of when I said: A man is coming after me who ranks before me because he existed before me. I did not know him myself, and yet it was to reveal him to Israel that I came baptising with water.’ John also declared, ‘I saw the Spirit coming down on him from heaven like a dove and resting on him. I did not know him myself, but he who sent me to baptise with water had said to me, “The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and rest is the one who is going to baptise with the Holy Spirit.” Yes, I have seen and I am the witness that he is the Chosen One of God.’
“what we are to be in the future has not yet been revealed; all we know is, that when it is revealed we shall be like him because we shall see him as he really is.”
In today’s Gospel, we see how John was able to recognise Jesus although he twice said, “I did not know him myself”. How could John preach about someone he didn’t really know? It almost feels as if John was making something up. Like John, there is no way we are able to fully see the face of Christ and the extent of His love for us.
But what we know, as mentioned in the first reading, is that God is righteous and those who live a righteous life has been begotten by Him. We are all God’s children by nature of our baptism and nothing can change that. We also know that anyone who lives in God does not sin, and anyone who sins has never seen him or known him, because to sin is to break the law.
In knowing the person of Christ, we must try to be like him, obey His laws and teachings. It’s not about being that perfect person, but about recognising and doing something about it. We do not want to remain in sin because sin destroys not just our lives — there is no such thing as a personal sin — but sin hurts the people around us too. The effects of sin are directly opposite to the mission of Christ. Our senses, desires will be distracted when we live in a life of sin versus a life of holiness.
Many times we feel that the ‘Catholic’ standard is so high that we rather just be mediocre or give up than to strive towards holiness. Sometimes, it may be the lack of relationship, encounter, prayer, community and other times, simply sloth or worldly pleasures. I am, and have been guilty of such as well. But what really happens when I live and move in the spirit? I am firstly at peace, with myself and with others, there is no restlessness, the world can throw everything at me but I know that God stands by my side. No words or actions will I take offense in, I see others with compassion and love, understand from their perspective, listen and be patient. The life in the spirit is a life of holiness, sees a life filled with the fruits of the Holy Spirit. There is meaning, there is purpose, we know that life is so much more than ourselves, life is about others and doing the will of the Father.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Benjamin Mao)
Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to purify ourselves and try to be as pure as Christ. That in our efforts, we may deepen this relationship we have with Him, to be able to recognise Him in our daily lives. That we can say “Yes, I have seen and I am the witness that he is the Chosen One of God”.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord, for teaching and sharing with us Your way. Thank you for the hope that one day all will be revealed and that we all shall be like You because we shall see You