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A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

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Liturgical day: January 5th (Weekdays of the Christmas season)

1st Reading (1Jn 3:11-21): Beloved: This is the message you have heard from the beginning: we should love one another, unlike Cain who belonged to the Evil One and slaughtered his brother. Why did he slaughter him? Because his own works were evil, and those of his brother righteous. Do not be amazed, then, brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers. Whoever does not love remains in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life remaining in him. The way we came to know love was that he laid down his life for us; so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

If someone who has worldly means sees a brother in need and refuses him compassion, how can the love of God remain in him? Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth. Now this is how we shall know that we belong to the truth and reassure our hearts before him in whatever our hearts condemn, for God is greater than our hearts and knows everything. Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence in God.
Responsorial Psalm: 99
R/. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
Sing joyfully to the Lord, all you lands; serve the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful song.

Know that the Lord is God; he made us, his we are; his people, the flock he tends.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, his courts with praise; give thanks to him; bless his name.

The Lord is good: the Lord, whose kindness endures forever, and his faithfulness, to all generations.
Verscicle before the Gospel (---): Alleluia. A holy day has dawned upon us. Come, you nations, and adore the Lord. Today a great light has come upon the earth. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Jn 1,43-51): After Jesus had decided to set off for Galilee, He met Philip and said to him, «Follow me». Philip was from Bethsaida, the town of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, «We have found the one that Moses wrote about in the Law, and the prophets as well: he is Jesus, son of Joseph, from Nazareth». Nathanael replied, «Can anything good come from Nazareth?». Philip said to him, «Come and see».

When Jesus saw Nathanael coming, he said of him, «Here comes an Israelite, a true one; there is nothing false in him». Nathanael asked him, «How do you know me?». And Jesus said to him, «Before Philip called you, you were under the fig tree and I saw you». Nathanael answered, «Master, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!». But Jesus replied, «You believe because I said: ‘I saw you under the fig tree’. But you will see greater things than that. Truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man».

«Come and see»

Fr. Rafel FELIPE i Freije
(Girona, Spain)

Today, Philip teaches us an important lesson when he asks Nathaniel to go with him to meet the Master, because, like all true friends, he wants to share the treasure he has discovered: «We have found the one that Moses wrote about in the Law, and the prophets as well: he is Jesus, son of Joseph, from Nazareth» (Jn 1:45). He is impatient to share the riches of Jesus with others, so that they too can be blessed by the treasure that comes to all that know Jesus Christ. No one is able to fill a man's heart with the happiness and peace that is ours when Jesus dwells within. When we experience His love, peace, and blessing in our lives, we are eager to share Him. This restless urge to share what we have with others, is the origin of the calling of a Christian Apostle. At some point in our lives, Jesus bids us to cast our nets wide. When he does, He is telling each one of us that we must become fishers of people, for the people of the world is in great need of God, and our common hunger for spiritual fulfillment, truth, and happiness can only be satisfied by Jesus Christ. «Only Jesus Christ means everything for us (…). Happy the man who waits for Him!» (Saint Ambrose).

We cannot give what we do not have. So, before we can tell others about the Master, we must already have encountered Him and come to know Him. Only when we know Him well and have allowed Him to enter and direct into our lives, can we share Him with others, as Philip did, and as His disciples have done throughout history.

This involves knowing Jesus as the Lord of our lives, knowing Him as a friend, conversing with Him, and accepting Him so completely that we can declare: «Master, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!» (Jn 1:49). We must receive Him in the Eucharist, share our gratitude and our desires with Him in daily prayer, and listen intently to His declarations of forgiveness. All this will help us to know Him well enough to be able to speak of Him with others to their understanding, so that they too can discover that intimate joy of encountering our Lord, experience religious satisfaction, and come to love Him even as we love Him.