It is 4th January 2019. The readings are from 1 John 3:7-10; and the Gospel from John 1:35-42. We are celebrating the First Friday of the month in the New Year. We need to find some time today to go for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and to participate in the Holy Eucharist to receive the Holy Communion. May the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus have mercy on us all and forgive us to lead a life of holiness with our love for the Lord and integrity in our hearts. The purpose of being a Catholic is to live a holy life. To be holy one needs to allow the light of Christ to shine in one’s life. “What has come into being in Him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” (Jn 1:4f). In the first reading, St. John teaches us that we all have the seed of God and therefore we are the children of God. Those who love God cannot afford to sin and those who sin constantly cannot be the children of God. We all have one weak area or the other in our lives. We all are vulnerable to sin and sinful situation. St. John admonishes all those who go on sin and find reasons and people to justify their sins. We need the power and grace from God to deal with sins; we must try by all means to stay away from people and tempting situations and to obtain the spiritual stamina from the Body of Christ, the Church. Let us not make the habit of sin as norm and practice and remain in it without doing anything to remove it. We need to long for and pray for the new life that God offers through the power of the Holy Spirit in believing Jesus Christ. The seed is the potential new life, the spark that could ignite the flame of love, light and grace from Christ. “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness – on them light has shined.” (Isa 9:2) The standard and criteria for being holy is God not any human agent. We need to imitate God in God’s holiness. Just because we are redeemed and loved by God we need to avoid sin at all cost. We can continue to celebrate being the child of God only when we all have the light of Christ to dispel the darkness of division and hatred by the devil. Jesus is that “true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.” (Jn 1:9). We need to make efforts to lead a holy life just not depend only on how much time we spend in churches and but to demonstrate our sincerity in loving others too. “Anybody not living a holy life and not loving his brother/sister is no child of God.” (1 Jn.3:10). Our sinful life gradually makes us to disconnect from Christ and eventually from one another. We need to work hard to keep the seed of truth and the spirit of God intact and uncontaminated by sins. We have a very limited options as believers either to emulate and enshrine Christ in our lives or to follow blindly the pleasures of the devil. We must never allow to be misled us and to betray Christ with their strange and appealingly mesmerising words. The responsorial Psalm praises, “All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.” (Ps.97:3). The Gospel invites us to have an intimate and personal encounter with Jesus. Have we found the Messiah yet in out life? Holy life is not just meeting Christ as a group and be satisfied with the encounter. Rather our holy life is indeed meeting the Lord on one on one level and enriching our holy life to persuade and lead the others to experience Christ Jesus. To recognise the Lamb of God, we need the seed of light and grace from God. We all need to have a come-and-see moment with Jesus intimately and personally before telling others to have taste-and-see experiences of Christ. As our Archdiocese so appropriately taken the theme of evangelizing through holiness, so we need to relook at our attitudes and behaviours towards one another to proclaim Christ in the community. Jesus wants our renewed minds to have a profound change in our character and the way we live for Christ and the Church. It is not just a new beginning, a fresh start rather it is a new birth and the unconditional enjoyment of God’s forgiveness that allows us to have the vision of Christ among the poor, the needy and the sinners. Why are we continue to be Catholics still? Is it to promote, proclaim and profess Christ or to control, dominate, and to achieve our popularity and glory using the Church and the Gospel as a platform? May the Lord help us to have an honest and holy life on a daily basis. May you have a good day. God bless you.

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