It’s funny from day to day what lines from our Daily Mass Readings strike me. You might think with some of the more powerful statements made in our readings today, such as the opening statement from our first reading…
Who is the liar?
Whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ.
Whoever denies the Father and the Son, this is the antichrist.
Anyone who denies the Son does not have the Father,
but whoever confesses the Son has the Father as well.
Or possibly the Psalm…
All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
But going into the new year – 2021 – the statement Who Are You really ties in with the theme of the New Year – the theme of every new year. Are you happy with who you are? Need to lose weight? Need to read more books and watch less TV? Maybe it’s time to join the gym and work out 5 days a week (the first week), 2 days (the second) and going online by the third week to see if there is an escape clause to the lifetime membership you just purchased.
Every year the Catholic Church, or more accurately the Pope, gives us a role model to emulate throughout the year. This year – 2021 – we are to emulate and contemplate the life of St. Joseph. This isn’t what today’s post is going to be about, but using that as my basis, here is what I hope to accomplish in 2021. Last year I prayed everyday to be willing to accept the Holy Will of God as my sole purpose in life – His Will, not mine, be done. Moving in the same direction – in order to continue towards and maintain that focus, this year’s pray will be to avoid the near occasion of sin. How many times have I gone to confession, prayed an act of contrition and sometime after that was back falling into the same traps that I should have tried to avoid. I could easily say, that’s what I do – I’m a sinner. But after hearing the message in yesterday’s 2nd reading, I need to take my responsibilities more seriously. Seriously.
Brothers and sisters:
When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son,
born of a woman, born under the law,
to ransom those under the law,
so that we might receive adoption as sons.
As proof that you are sons,
God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts,
crying out, “Abba, Father!”
So you are no longer a slave but a son,
and if a son then also an heir, through God.
And if a son then also an heir, through God. An heir? To the kingdom? Really? Yes, really, so maybe I should start acting in such a manner as the son of God that I am. Take a second to read the next few verses that continue on in St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians…
8f At a time when you did not know God, you became slaves to things that by nature are not gods;*9 but now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and destitute elemental powers? Do you want to be slaves to them all over again?
DO I WANT TO BE A SLAVE TO THEM, A SLAVE TO MY SINS, ALL OVER AGAIN? I do not and so 2021 will be dedicated to acting more like an Heir than an Ass. That my friends is the my answer to the opening question from this morning…“Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us? What do you have to say for yourself?” I am an heir to God’s glorious kingdom and it’s about high time I acted as such.
Do something great for our Lord today – firmly resolve, with the help of His grace – to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.
He must increase; I must decrease.
Lord, if You wish, You can make me clean.
But you man of God, chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness. Compete well for the faith.