Readings 20150102

The following reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager (c) 2015, whose website is located at

Do you recognize the presence of the Lord Jesus in your life? John the Baptist did such a great job of stirring the peoples’ expectation of the Messiah’s arrival, that many thought he might be the Messiah himself, or at least the great prophet Elijah who was expected to reappear at the Messiah’s coming (see Malachi 4:5, Deuteronomy 18:15). John had no mistaken identity. In all humility and sincerity he said he was only a voice bidding people to prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah King.
John points to the Redeemer who comes to save us from sin and death
John the Baptist bridges the Old and New Testaments. He is the last of the Old Testament Prophets who points the way to the Messiah. He is the first of the New Testament witnesses and martyrs. He is the herald who prepares the way for Jesus and who announces his mission to the people: Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world! John saw from a distance what the Messiah came to accomplish – our redemption from slavery to sin and our adoption as sons and daughters of God, our heavenly Father. Do you recognize your identity as an adopted child of God and a citizen of God’s heavenly kingdom?

John was the greatest of the prophets, yet he lived as a humble and faithful servant of God. He pointed others to Jesus, the Messiah and Savior of the world. The Christian church from the earliest of times has given John many titles which signify his prophetic mission: Witness of the Lord, Trumpet of Heaven, Herald of Christ, Voice of the Word, Precursor of Truth, Friend of the Bridegroom, Crown of the Prophets, Forerunner of the Redeemer, Preparer of Salvation, Light of the Martyrs, and Servant of the Word. Do you point others to Jesus Christ by the testimony of your witness and example?

The Lord reveals his presence to us through the Holy Spirit
Luke tells us that when the presence of the Lord Jesus was revealed to Mary (Luke 1:35), and to her cousin Elizabeth (Luke 1:41), and to John the Baptist in the womb of his mother (Luke 1:15,41), and to Zechariah, John’s father (Luke 2:67) – they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit reveals to us the presence of the Lord Jesus who comes to dwell within us. Ask the Lord Jesus to fill you with the Holy Spirit and to renew in you the gifts of faith, hope, and love, and the boldness and courage to point others to the presence and power of the Lord Jesus.

“Lord Jesus, fill me with your Holy Spirit and make me a herald of your word of truth and grace. Fill me with the joy of the Gospel that I may eagerly point others to you as John did through his life and testimony.”

The following reflection is courtesy of (c) 2015. Their website is located at

“Who is the liar?” —1 John 2:22
As we begin the new year, we are asked the question: “Who is the liar?” The answers to this question are:

“He who denies that Jesus is the Christ” (1 Jn 2:22).
“The Antichrist, denying the Father and the Son” (1 Jn 2:22).
“The man who claims, ‘I have known Him,’ without keeping His commandments” (1 Jn 2:4).
The devil is also a liar (Jn 8:44). Yet he is more than that. He is “the father of lies” (Jn 8:44). He starts, expands, connects, and manages lies to form a culture of death. Only if we believe in Jesus, the Truth (see Jn 14:6), and thereby reject Satan and all his lying works and promises, will we be free (see Jn 8:32). If, however, we let ourselves be bribed or intimidated into believing Satan’s lies, we will be manipulated even into calling God a liar (1 Jn 1:10; 5:10).

To overcome the evil spirit, we need the Holy Spirit, Who is the Truth (1 Jn 5:6). “As His anointing teaches you about all things and is true — free from any lie — remain in Him as that anointing taught you” (1 Jn 2:27). “When He comes…being the Spirit of Truth He will guide you to all truth” (Jn 16:13). Come, Holy Spirit of Truth!

Prayer: Father, by Your grace I will never “do anything against the Truth, but only for the sake of the Truth” (2 Cor 13:8). Promise: “He Himself made us a promise and the promise is no less than this: eternal life.” —1 Jn 2:25 Praise: St. Basil was grandson, son, and brother to other canonized saints. (For related teaching, order our book, The Truth Will Set You Free.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant my permission to publish One Bread, One Body covering the period from December 1, 2014 through January 31, 2015.
†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 30, 2014.
The rescript is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted ecclesial permission agree with the contents, opinions, or statements