For many (myself included) today is “back to reality day.” Lots of folks have been off since Christmas Eve. If that includes you, welcome back! Hopefully we can hit the ground running in this new year. What’s a great way to do that? Listen to what Jesus says in our Gospel reading today from Matthew 4: “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Daily repentance sounds like a good plan to me.
Our first reading today from 1 John 3 and 4 is chock full of stuff to reflect on. St. John says “do not trust every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they belong to God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” So how do we “test the spirits?” By seeing if the message matches up with or goes against the teaching authority of the Church, that’s how.
St. John goes on to say, “You belong to God, children, and you have conquered them, for the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” That’s a power-packed statement! You see, in a even-up contest, Jesus will kick Satan’s butt every time! And we have Jesus in us. So it only stands to reason that Jesus will win out over Satan in our lives, right? But why does that not always happen? Because we don’t make it an even contest. We allow Satan to have the upper hand. We listen to his lies. How much different would today be if every time we face temptation, we call upon the name of Jesus? Lots, I think. Why not give it a try?
Father, thank you for sending Jesus to be in us. May we allow Him to have victory over evil in our lives today and every day. Amen.