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On the first day of the first full week of the year, in the Gospel of the day from Matthew 4: 12-17, 23-25, we are given a summary of the mission of Jesus.

‘The people that sat in darkness have seen a great light’.

There is no doubt that darkness exists.

  • The terrible things that ISIS did to prisoners.

  • The historical and modern-day enslavement of people.

  • The starvation of children and other refugees being held indefinitely in detention camps.

  • The abuse of children.

  • Domestic violence.

  • The exploitation of the poor and the weak by the powerful.

  • The terrible wars of history, and ones still going on today.

  • The terrible exploitation of our planet with pollution of various types. 

There are many other examples.

Then there are the very challenging situations that many people find themselves in, in their personal lives.

Indeed, there is a lot of darkness!

However, the clear message is that Jesus is the great light.

He is our way, our truth, and life.

The Way is a person, a loving God deeply interested in us.  It is about relationships.  He teaches us to love unconditionally, to give generously.

He proclaims the truth of God.  He teaches us how to live with each other.  He has given us the means to search for the truth of how to live our lives.  Jesus brings ‘the commandments’ to a new meaning.

Jesus is our life.  We are fully who we are meant to be if we live with Him, and in Him, and through Him.

We have so much at our disposal as a human race to alleviate hunger and poverty, and so many sicknesses.  We have the ability to educate and to improve the living conditions of all.  To look after our planet.

Recent documents of Pope Francis spell this out for our times.

  • Lumen Fidei (2013)

  • The Joy of Living the Gospel (2013)

  • Laudato si (2015)

  • Amoris Laetitia (2016)

  • Gaud Ete Et Exsultate (2018)

  • Fratelli Tutti (2020)

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