4th January 2021



1 Jn 3: 22-24; 4: 1-6;

Ps 2: 7-8, 10-11;

Mt 4: 12-17, 23-25

We have been taught that God dwells within our hearts. But in what way? St John of the Cross enumerates three ways in which God is present in the soul”

  • Presence by Essence: In this way God is present in all creatures at all times giving them life and being.
  • Presence by Grace: God dwells in the soul that he is pleased and satisfied with. The soul cannot know if it has this presence. Those who commit mortal sin lose this presence.
  • Presence by Spiritual Affection: God grants his spiritual presence to devout souls, refreshing and gladdening them.

How wonderful it is to experience this in-dwelling presence of God (by spiritual affection) within! What must we to do in order to encounter God dwelling within us? St John, in the first reading today, gives us the answer. He tells us that those who keep the commandments of God abide in him and he abides in them. Which are the commandments of God that we are to keep? St John enlists just two:

  • To believe in Jesus: Believing in Jesus implies having trust and confidence in him. It involves a complete self-surrender in faith to God who will never abandon us and who knows what is best for us. It is the joyful acceptance of his will in our daily life.
  • To love one another as he loves us: Jesus loves us unconditionally and he wants us to love our brothers and sisters in the same way. This involves accepting them as they are without judging or criticizing them. This love demands self-sacrifice and generosity.

Jesus himself assures us that whoever loves him by keeping his commandments will be loved by the Father, and the Father and the Son will come and make their dwelling within that person. (cf. Jn 14:21,23). May our hearts be transformed into worthy dwelling places for God.

Responsorial Psalm: I will give you the nations as your inheritance

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