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On her birthday, Rachel Watkins considers what the daily readings tell her about what God wants for—and from—her in the coming year.

Today happens to be my birthday. I find myself approaching the Mass readings on my birthday with a thought as to what God wants to tell me as I begin another year of life. Do you as well? For today’s Gospel, Jesus is reminding us, in small bites, of some very important facts of life. You don’t hide your lamps, there is nothing that can be hidden, and to whom much is given, much is expected.

In other words, we are being reminded that being a follower of Jesus means we do things differently than the rest of the world. As followers of Jesus and members of His Church we know what we have been given can be both multiplied or even taken away. The first reading is the same, with sayings from Proverbs reminding us not to quarrel or plot evil. We are reminded of His stern response to the prideful and His mercy towards the humble.

Today’s simple readings give us an opportunity to readjust our compass of life as it were: examine our dealings with ourselves and others to ensure we are following even the simplest of God’s directions. Today is also the feast of St. Januarius, whose liquifying blood is one of the lingering, supernatural mysteries of our faith. God is truly a source of amazement and wonder.


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Being a follower of Jesus means we do things differently than the rest of the world.


How am I doing in the simple requests of our faith: am I prone to hiding myself and my gifts, doing in secret what will eventually be seen?

Dear Jesus, You love to remind us of how you want us to treat ourselves and others. Make me brave to do as you ask and take advantage of both the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Confession for the grace to act as you desire.



Copyright 2022 Rachel Watkins
Images: Canva