1 John 3:7-10
Ps 98:1, 7-9
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John.
John was standing with two of his disciples,
and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said,
“Behold, the Lamb of God.”
The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus.
Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them,
“What are you looking for?”
They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher),
“where are you staying?”
He said to them, “Come, and you will see.”
So they went and saw where he was staying,
and they stayed with him that day.
It was about four in the afternoon.
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter,
was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus.
He first found his own brother Simon and told him,
“We have found the Messiah,” which is translated Christ.
Then he brought him to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said,
“You are Simon the son of John;
you will be called Cephas,” which is translated Peter.
Good News Reflection: You’re a saint, right?
To successfully spread the love and healing and salvation of Christ, we need to examine our consciences daily, honestly facing the ways we have been unlike Christ. This needn’t be as difficult as we fear it is.
Catholic Mass provides us with the opportunity during the Penitential Rite. Daily Mass provides us with a daily opportunity. The Eucharist is Jesus himself coming to us with all of his love and redemption. He wants to heal our sin-infected souls. He also comes to us powerfully in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, offering to us a supernatural grace so that we can become stronger at resisting the sins we’ve confessed.
However, today’s first reading tells us that no one who belongs to God commits sin. Thanks to what happened when we were baptized, we received “God’s seed” within us and it remains in us unless we consciously and deliberately reject God. Thus, John writes that we cannot sin because we are begotten by God.
So — are we sinners or not? Do we need to go to Confession or not?
This scripture is describing the difference between the children of God and the children of the devil: “No one who fails to act in righteousness belongs to God, nor anyone who doesn’t love.”
Since we sometimes do fail to act holy or love unconditionally, does this mean that we’re the devil’s kids? Well, consider this: Do you do good because you want to imitate Jesus? Do you love others because you want to love like Jesus loves? Do you face difficult situations with a desire to handle it the way Jesus wants to? Then you are a child of God — even though you fall short of your goal.
We who follow Christ are not Sinners (with a capital “S”); we’re imperfect saints being led by him to heaven where we will someday become full-fledged capital “S” Saints. During our time of earthly sainthood, we strive to overcome the many ways in which we fail to live up to our true nature as children of God. After we die, we will gladly be purged (the state of purgatory) of all remaining impurities, and the harder we work at this purging now, the more saintly we become here on earth.
In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus asks: “What are you looking for?” What are you looking for when you sin, i.e., when you fail to live up to the saintliness that God created within you? If you dig deep into your motives, you’ll find that you’re really looking for God but in the wrong place and in the wrong way.
Jesus says: “Come, and you will see.” What do we see when we go to him during any temptation? Whatever we’re looking for, we’re seeking it because we think we don’t have it yet (for example, peace, happiness, love, the filling of an emotional or financial need, etc.). But Jesus is everything we need.
The secret to successful saintliness is recognizing that by uniting ourselves to Jesus, we have all goodness, all love, and all our needs are met. Maybe not the way we want, but in him we lack nothing that really matters.
Thank You, Jesus, for always looking for me! Thank You for always believing in me! Thank You for all Your blessings that make my path to holiness possible. Amen.
© 2018 by Terry A. Modica