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Thoughts and Reflection

In today’s reading we read from the Beloved Apostle, St. John who is the author of the Gospel of John. He was part of Jesus’ public ministry. He has been a follower of St. John the Baptist as well. In the opening words of John’s Gospel he establishes that Jesus is “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1:1, 14) This is profound. Not only does he link Jesus to the old testament teachings, but he is just not another prophet, healer or wise teacher — he is the divine Son of God. The father loved the world that he give his only beloved Son so we will not perish and have eternal life.

When John the Baptist sees Jesus coming toward him he exclaimed, “behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Remember that a lamb is a sacrifice to the Jews. Jesus will be the Lamb that will be sacrificed on the Cross for the forgiveness of sins. He offers himself up to the Father on our behalf for our salvation.

In Genesis, the Lord tells Abraham to take his beloved son Isaac and offer him as a sacrifice. When Isaac asks his father where the lamb is for the sacrifice, Abraham response that God himself will provide the lamb. Jesus is that lamb. When Moses lifts up the bronze serpent in the wilderness, the sign of the people’s sin becomes the sign of hope. Jesus is lifted up on the Cross. The sign of sin and death becomes the sign of hope for all that believe in him.

The Church itself is established by God to proclaim to every individual person that s/he is known and loved by God and they have been called into a covenant relationship with him so that everyone might be saved and might not perish but have eternal life.

About This Project

For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!

Daily Readings

John 1

1 In the beginning was the Word: the Word was with God and the Word was God.

2 He was with God in the beginning.

3 Through him all things came into being, not one thing came into being except through him.

4 What has come into being in him was life, life that was the light of men;

5 and light shines in darkness, and darkness could not overpower it.

6 A man came, sent by God. His name was John.

7 He came as a witness, to bear witness to the light, so that everyone might believe through him.

8 He was not the light, he was to bear witness to the light.

9 The Word was the real light that gives light to everyone; he was coming into the world.

10 He was in the world that had come into being through him, and the world did not recognise him.

11 He came to his own and his own people did not accept him.

12 But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believed in his name

13 who were born not from human stock or human desire or human will but from God himself.

14 The Word became flesh, he lived among us, and we saw his glory, the glory that he has from the Father as only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.

15 John witnesses to him. He proclaims: ‘This is the one of whom I said: He who comes after me has passed ahead of me because he existed before me.’

16 Indeed, from his fullness we have, all of us, received — one gift replacing another,

17 for the Law was given through Moses, grace and truth have come through Jesus Christ.

18 No one has ever seen God; it is the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.

19 This was the witness of John, when the Jews sent to him priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, ‘Who are you?’

20 He declared, he did not deny but declared, ‘I am not the Christ.’

21 So they asked, ‘Then are you Elijah?’ He replied, ‘I am not.’ ‘Are you the Prophet?’ He answered, ‘No.’

22 So they said to him, ‘Who are you? We must take back an answer to those who sent us. What have you to say about yourself?’

23 So he said, ‘I am, as Isaiah prophesied: A voice of one that cries in the desert: Prepare a way for the Lord. Make his paths straight!’

24 Now those who had been sent were Pharisees,

25 and they put this question to him, ‘Why are you baptising if you are not the Christ, and not Elijah, and not the Prophet?’

26 John answered them, ‘I baptise with water; but standing among you — unknown to you-

27 is the one who is coming after me; and I am not fit to undo the strap of his sandal.’

28 This happened at Bethany, on the far side of the Jordan, where John was baptising.

29 The next day, he saw Jesus coming towards him and said, ‘Look, there is the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.

30 It was of him that I said, “Behind me comes one who has passed ahead of me because he existed before me.”

31 I did not know him myself, and yet my purpose in coming to baptise with water was so that he might be revealed to Israel.’

32 And John declared, ‘I saw the Spirit come down on him like a dove from heaven and rest on him.

33 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 to baptise with the Holy Spirit.”

34 I have seen and I testify that he is the Chosen One of God.’

35 The next day as John stood there again with two of his disciples, Jesus went past,

36 and John looked towards him and said, ‘Look, there is the lamb of God.’

37 And the two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus.

38 Jesus turned round, saw them following and said, ‘What do you want?’ They answered, ‘Rabbi’ — which means Teacher — ‘where do you live?’

39 He replied, ‘Come and see’; so they went and saw where he lived, and stayed with him that day. It was about the tenth hour.

40 One of these two who became followers of Jesus after hearing what John had said was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter.

41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother and say to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ — which means the Christ-

42 and he took Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, ‘You are Simon son of John; you are to be called Cephas’ — which means Rock.

43 The next day, after Jesus had decided to leave for Galilee, he met Philip and said, ‘Follow me.’

44 Philip came from the same town, Bethsaida, as Andrew and Peter.

45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.’

46 Nathanael said to him, ‘From Nazareth? Can anything good come from that place?’ Philip replied, ‘Come and see.’

47 When Jesus saw Nathanael coming he said of him, ‘There, truly, is an Israelite in whom there is no deception.’

48 Nathanael asked, ‘How do you know me?’ Jesus replied, ‘Before Philip came to call you, I saw you under the fig tree.’

49 Nathanael answered, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the king of Israel.’

50 Jesus replied, ‘You believe that just because I said: I saw you under the fig tree. You are going to see greater things than that.’

51 And then he added, ‘In all truth I tell you, you will see heaven open and the angels of God ascending and descending over the Son of man.’

John 2

1 On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee. The mother of Jesus was there,

2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited.

3 And they ran out of wine, since the wine provided for the feast had all been used, and the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’

4 Jesus said, ‘Woman, what do you want from me? My hour has not come yet.’

5 His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’

6 There were six stone water jars standing there, meant for the ablutions that are customary among the Jews: each could hold twenty or thirty gallons.

7 Jesus said to the servants, ‘Fill the jars with water,’ and they filled them to the brim.

8 Then he said to them, ‘Draw some out now and take it to the president of the feast.’

9 They did this; the president tasted the water, and it had turned into wine. Having no idea where it came from — though the servants who had drawn the water knew — the president of the feast called the bridegroom

10 and said, ‘Everyone serves good wine first and the worse wine when the guests are well wined; but you have kept the best wine till now.’

11 This was the first of Jesus’ signs: it was at Cana in Galilee. He revealed his glory, and his disciples believed in him.

12 After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and his brothers and his disciples, but they stayed there only a few days.

13 When the time of the Jewish Passover was near Jesus went up to Jerusalem,

14 and in the Temple he found people selling cattle and sheep and doves, and the money changers sitting there.

15 Making a whip out of cord, he drove them all out of the Temple, sheep and cattle as well, scattered the money changers’ coins, knocked their tables over

16 and said to the dove sellers, ‘Take all this out of here and stop using my Father’s house as a market.’

17 Then his disciples remembered the words of scripture: I am eaten up with zeal for your house.

18 The Jews intervened and said, ‘What sign can you show us that you should act like this?’

19 Jesus answered, ‘Destroy this Temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’

20 The Jews replied, ‘It has taken forty-six years to build this Temple: are you going to raise it up again in three days?’

21 But he was speaking of the Temple that was his body,

22 and when Jesus rose from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the scripture and what he had said.

23 During his stay in Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he did,

24 but Jesus knew all people and did not trust himself to them;

25 he never needed evidence about anyone; he could tell what someone had within.

John 3

1 There was one of the Pharisees called Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews,

2 who came to Jesus by night and said, ‘Rabbi, we know that you have come from God as a teacher; for no one could perform the signs that you do unless God were with him.’

3 Jesus answered: In all truth I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.

4 Nicodemus said, ‘How can anyone who is already old be born? Is it possible to go back into the womb again and be born?’

5 Jesus replied: In all truth I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born through water and the Spirit;

6 what is born of human nature is human; what is born of the Spirit is spirit.

7 Do not be surprised when I say: You must be born from above.

8 The wind blows where it pleases; you can hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.

9 ‘How is that possible?’ asked Nicodemus.

10 Jesus replied, ‘You are the Teacher of Israel, and you do not know these things!

11 ‘In all truth I tell you, we speak only about what we know and witness only to what we have seen and yet you people reject our evidence.

12 If you do not believe me when I speak to you about earthly things, how will you believe me when I speak to you about heavenly things?

13 No one has gone up to heaven except the one who came down from heaven, the Son of man;

14 as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so must the Son of man be lifted up

15 so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.

16 For this is how God loved the world: he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

17 For God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but so that through him the world might be saved.

18 No one who believes in him will be judged; but whoever does not believe is judged already, because that person does not believe in the Name of God’s only Son.

19 And the judgement is this: though the light has come into the world people have preferred darkness to the light because their deeds were evil.

20 And indeed, everybody who does wrong hates the light and avoids it, to prevent his actions from being shown up;

21 but whoever does the truth comes out into the light, so that what he is doing may plainly appear as done in God.’

22 After this, Jesus went with his disciples into the Judaean countryside and stayed with them there and baptised.

23 John also was baptising at Aenon near Salim, where there was plenty of water, and people were going there and were being baptised.

24 For John had not yet been put in prison.

25 Now a discussion arose between some of John’s disciples and a Jew about purification,

26 so they went to John and said, ‘Rabbi, the man who was with you on the far side of the Jordan, the man to whom you bore witness, is baptising now, and everyone is going to him.’

27 John replied: ‘No one can have anything except what is given him from heaven.

28 ‘You yourselves can bear me out. I said, “I am not the Christ; I am the one who has been sent to go in front of him.”

29 ‘It is the bridegroom who has the bride; and yet the bridegroom’s friend, who stands there and listens to him, is filled with joy at the bridegroom’s voice. This is the joy I feel, and it is complete.

30 He must grow greater, I must grow less.

31 He who comes from above is above all others; he who is of the earth is earthly himself and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven

32 bears witness to the things he has seen and heard, but his testimony is not accepted by anybody;

33 though anyone who does accept his testimony is attesting that God is true,

34 since he whom God has sent speaks God’s own words, for God gives him the Spirit without reserve.

35 The Father loves the Son and has entrusted everything to his hands.

36 Anyone who believes in the Son has eternal life, but anyone who refuses to believe in the Son will never see life: God’s retribution hangs over him.’

Proverbs 5:1-6

1 My son, pay attention to my wisdom, listen carefully to what I know;

2 so that you may preserve discretion and your lips may guard knowledge. Take no notice of a loose-living woman,

3 for the lips of the adulteress drip with honey, her palate is more unctuous than oil,

4 but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.

5 Her feet go down to death, Sheol the goal of her steps;

6 far from following the path of life, her course is uncertain and she does not know it.

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