Readings and Reflection for January 5, Thursday before Epiphany

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FIRST READING

“We have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren.”

A reading from the first Letter of Saint John (1 John 3:11-18)

Beloved: This is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, and not be like Cain who was of the Evil One and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not wonder, brethren, that the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love remains in death. Any one who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. By this we show love, that he laid down his life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But if any one has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or speech but indeed and in truth. By this we shall know that we are of the truth, and reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God.

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 100: 1-2.3.4

R/. Cry out with joy to the Lord, all the earth.

Cry out with joy to the Lord, all the earth.

Serve the Lord with gladness.

Come before him, singing for joy. R/.

Know that he, the Lord, is God.

He made us; we belong to him.

We are his people, the sheep of his flock. R/.

R/. Cry out with joy to the Lord, all the earth.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving

and his courts with songs of praise.

Give thanks to him, and bless his name. R/.

Indeed, how good is the Lord,

eternal his merciful love.

He is faithful from age to age. R/.

Alleluia,

Alleluia. A hallowed day has shone upon us: come, O nations, and adore the Lord; for today a great light has come down to earth. Alleluia.

GOSPEL

“You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (John 1: 43-51)

At that time: Jesus decided to go to Galilee. And he found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael, and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!” Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You shall see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

TODAY’S REFLECTION

“What is in a name?” Today, we commemorate the naming of Jesus. In tradition, names are action words that signified and encompassed the actual life and destiny of the bearers. Jesus’ name and titles designate his actual life, work and destiny, especially in relation to us. As an object of faith, early Christian converts were invited to believe in Jesus’ name (Jn 20:31, 1 Jn 5:13, Acts 2:38). The name represents the saving presence of Jesus in our midst. There is power in the name; power that heals, encourages, delivers, fills our needs, and inspires us to share the same gift with others. Loving God, sustain us in the name of Jesus, your Son. Amen.

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