“Test the spirits to see whether they are of God. ”
A reading from the first Letter of Saint John (1 John 3:22-4:6)
Beloved: We receive from God whatever we ask, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. All who keep his commandments abide in him, and he in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit which he has given us. Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit which does not confess Jesus is not of God. This is the spirit of antichrist, of which you heard that it was coming, and now it is in the world already. Little children, you are of God, and have overcome them; for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world, therefore what they say is of the world, and the world listens to them. We are of God. Whoever knows God listens to us, and he who is not of God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 2:7-8. 10- 11 (R. 8a)
R/. I will give you the nations as your inheritance.
I will announce the decree of the Lord
The Lord said to me, “You are my Son.
It is I who have begotten you this day.
Ask of me and I will give you
the nations as your inheritance,
and the ends of the earth as your possession.” R.
“So now, O kings, understand;
take warning, rulers of the earth.
Serve the Lord with fear;
exult with trembling, pay him your homage.” R.
ALLELUIA Matthew 4:23
Alleluia. Alleluia. Jesus was preaching the Gospel of the kingdom and healing every infirmity among the people. Alleluia.
“The kingdom of heaven is at hand. ”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 4:12- 17.23-25)
At that time: When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee; and leaving Nazareth he went and dwelt in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali towards the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles — the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.” From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” And he went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every infirmity among the people. So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, and paralytics, and he healed them. And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan.
The Gospel of the Lord.
Jesus is the light of the world. His mission in the territory of Zebulon and Naphtali indicates the fulfilment of a prophecy of restoration made in Isaiah 9:1-2. The place is known as the Galilee of the Gentiles. Jesus took the light to the heathens in their own land. He does not just wait for us to come to him; he comes to us because he loves us and wants to save us. He stands now at the door of your life waiting to dispel whatever darkness, sin, sickness, poverty, restlessness – that threatens you, if only you will let him in.