It is 5th January 2017. The readings are from 1 John 3:11-21; and the Gospel from John 1:43-51. The first reading teaches us that our conscience is not the final judge but God is when it comes to love the other. A personal and willful hatred towards a brother or a sister is equal to murder someone. Our love must not be merely in lips alone rather it must be sincerely deep in our hearts and seen in the actions. We are reprimanded by St. John to be on guard regarding the world which would hate us just because we love Christ. Our life in Christ is so challenging and questioning their conscience and indeed a threat and so they would like to hate us by all means. Love is the answer for all kinds of hatred. It is easily said than done. When we give our best to God, we will surely attract the evil people like Cain to hate our disposition to God. John echoes the teaching of Jesus in Mt.5:21, 22 that “Whoever hates another person is murderer at heart.” We have become a believer in Christ in order to love not to hate. Are we bitter about someone in our hearts? Let us uproot all kinds of “bitter root” (Heb.12:15) in our lives, church and in our society. Love is not merely an emotion but a conscious action that leads oneself to lay down the life for the others and to render a helping hand to someone. We all fall short off for having not loved the other enough. We might be questioned by our conscience all the time for having not been perfect in love. What matters most is our motivation and intention to love the other person. God alone knows our inner most hearts. At all times, we must seek the will of God with clear consciences. Indeed, God is supremely greater than our consciences. The intention and the will of God is we must love one another and beware of all kinds of hatred. The responsorial Psalm prays, “Cry out with joy to the Lord, all the earth.” (Ps.99:1). The Gospel reminds us that our personal and faith encounter with Jesus must have a lasting effect on our lives like that of Philip and Nathanael. Our devotion to Christ must not divide us rather to make us to be His witnesses always. We all need to have a come-and-see personal experience with Jesus. Such personal encounter will remove the prejudices and stereotype thinking about Jesus. Jesus knows us individually what and who we are deep within, before we initiate a meeting with Him. May God bless us to show the love of Christ because of our encounter with Him.

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