In today's first reading, 1 John 5: 5-13, St. John asks us the question: "Who indeed is the victor over the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" In the Gospel, Mark 1: 7-11, St. John the Baptist, proclaims that "[o]ne mightier than I is coming after me....I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit." John, in fact, baptized Jesus with water. "On coming out of the water he [John] saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit...descending upon him [Jesus]. And a voice came from the heavens, 'You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased." Yes, John baptized with water and God did so with the Spirit, as does Jesus, as the Father and the Son are one God!
John, who believed in Jesus, was, as he says in the first reading, "the victor over the world." So, too, are all the saints in heaven and on earth--those doing good in the world; those living pure, just, honest loving and humble lives, those helping the poor and oppressed, those teaching others to faithfully follow Jesus' example, doing what He did here on earth in revealing a loving, compassionate, merciful Father by the way we give "birth" to Jesus in their lives.
Am I a "victor over the world"? f not, what beliefs, behaviors and attitudes do I need to change in order that I, too, with the saints in heaven and those on earth, will reveal the face of God to all with whom I live and work and worship God as Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier?
May your faith, and mine, grow deeper throughout 2018 so that we, too, hear God saying to us throughout the day: "This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased; listen to Him," as did the disciples on Mount Tabor. And at the end of each day, as we reflect back on the choices we made that day, may we hear God say to us: "You are my beloved daughter/son in whom I am well pleased"! May we, also, at the end of the day, discern the times we truly were a "victor over the world" and when, on the other hand, we succumbed worldly allurements that did not give "birth" to Christ.