First reading 1 John 3:22-4:6

The Son of God has come and given us the power to know the true God

Whatever we ask God,
we shall receive,
because we keep his commandments
and live the kind of life that he wants.
His commandments are these:
that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ
and that we love one another
as he told us to.
Whoever keeps his commandments
lives in God and God lives in him.
We know that he lives in us
by the Spirit that he has given us.
 
It is not every spirit, my dear people, that you can trust;
test them, to see if they come from God,
there are many false prophets, now, in the world.
You can tell the spirits that come from God by this:
every spirit which acknowledges that Jesus the Christ has come in the flesh
is from God;
but any spirit which will not say this of Jesus
is not from God,
but is the spirit of Antichrist,
whose coming you were warned about.
Well, now he is here, in the world.
Children,
you have already overcome these false prophets,
because you are from God and you have in you
one who is greater than anyone in this world;
as for them, they are of the world,
and so they speak the language of the world
and the world listens to them.
But we are children of God,
and those who know God listen to us;
those who are not of God refuse to listen to us.
This is how we can tell
the spirit of truth from the spirit of falsehood.
 

Responsorial Psalm 2:7-8,10-11

I will give you the nations for your heritage.
 
The Lord said to me: ‘You are my Son.
  It is I who have begotten you this day.
Ask and I shall bequeath you the nations,
  put the ends of the earth in your possession.’
 
I will give you the nations for your heritage.
 
Now, O kings, understand,
  take warning, rulers of the earth;
serve the Lord with awe
  and trembling, pay him your homage.
 
I will give you the nations for your heritage.
 

Gospel Matthew 4:12-17,23-25

The people that lived in darkness have seen a great light

Hearing that John had been arrested, Jesus went back to Galilee, and leaving Nazareth he went and settled in Capernaum, a lakeside town on the borders of Zebulun and Naphtali. In this way the prophecy of Isaiah was to be fulfilled:
 
‘Land of Zebulun! Land of Naphtali!
Way of the sea on the far side of Jordan,
Galilee of the nations!
The people that lived in darkness has seen a great light;
on those who dwell in the land and shadow of death
a light has dawned.’
 
From that moment Jesus began his preaching with the message, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand.’
  He went round the whole of Galilee teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom and curing all kinds of diseases and sickness among the people. His fame spread throughout Syria, and those who were suffering from diseases and painful complaints of one kind or another, the possessed, epileptics, the paralysed, were all brought to him, and he cured them. Large crowds followed him, coming from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judaea and Transjordania.
 
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Jesus, “God saves”

Today, we celebrate the memorial of the Most Holy Name of Jesus. The name, Jesus, means “God saves”. What does it mean that “God  saves”? We often associate being saved, or salvation, as being saved from our sins. However, we must not forget that the purpose of  salvation is to remain in communion with God, who has created us to be in a loving relationship with Him. The person of Jesus, whose  incarnation, life, death, and resurrection, leads us to communion with God. He is the bridge that links God to us and us to God.
 
When we call upon the name of Jesus, it means that we believe that He is our Saviour who enables us to participate in this relationship of  love and communion with God. Our faith in His name is also a call for action. It is not a mere form of passive devotion. Instead, we must  conform ourselves more closely to Him by imitating His actions, motivations and character. May our love for Jesus steadily grow each day.
 
Question for reflection:
How can I make the name and the person of Jesus the cornerstone of my life?
 
 
Acknowledgment: Reflections are based on “Prayer for Living: The Word of God for Daily Prayer Year C” by Sr. Sandra Seow FMVD.