Readings for Monday January 4, 2010
Memorial of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, religious
First Reading: 1 John 3:22-4:6
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 2
Gospel: Matthew 4:12-17, 23-25
We receive from him whatever we ask, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And his commandment is this: we should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another just as he commanded us. Those who keep his commandments remain in him, and he in them, and the way we know that he remains in us is from the Spirit whom he gave us. (1 John 3:22-24)
I remember that when I was in the fourth grade my family and I moved to a new town, which of course meant that I would be attending a new school. Now we had moved half-way through the school year, so I was entering into a class that had already had half of a year to get to know each other, and add to that this was a small town that we had moved to. I remember that those first several weeks were difficult because I was brand new, completely away from the school and friends that I had once previously knew. Those first several weeks I spent trying to find my place in the new town and the new school.
I think that this feeling of being lost and trying to find our place in this world is something that many people struggle with, not just as an adolescent, but even as adults. Many adults compromise and go on to lead lives that may be safe and comfortable. But so many people in this world are left unfulfilled and without hope because they do not know where their place is and what their purpose is.
In today's first reading, Saint John sheds some light on where our place is, and that is with Christ. Our purpose is to live out and keep His commandments, and our place is with Him. The truth is that we do not belong to this world; now of course we do live in it, but we do not belong to the world, we belong to God. So many people in this world would be happier and find true peace if they would just realize this truth. There would be so much more joy if people would realize that we have a loving and merciful God who wants to free us from the slavery of sin and to spend the rest of eternity with us in paradise.
May we always remember that our place in this world is with God, not with anyone or anything else. We belong to God, not to the world.
Father above we thank you for the gift of this day. Lord, we thank you for the gift of our lives. Help us to love as you call us to and to not waste a single moment of this life. We pray for all those who do not know you and who are in need of conversion, may they find their place in you. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.