I John 3:22-4:6; Matthew 4:12-17.23-25)
Scripture scholar Raymond Brown gave his little book with reflections on the birth of Christ a provocative title. He called it An Adult Christ at Christmas. His wanted to show that the infancy narratives are more than the beginning of the gospel story. Rather they contain the basic gospel message from Jesus' initial success in Galilee to his ultimate rejection, death, and resurrection. Something similar takes place in today's gospel selection.
It may be asked why the beginning of Jesus' ministry is featured in the mass today when we are still in Christmastime? Would it not be more appropriate to review a segment of the infancy narratives, perhaps part of the long passage where he is brought to the Temple or maybe the Holy Family's journey in Egypt? However, the initiation of Jesus' preaching also fits well at the present time. As indicated by the passage, he was born to tell the world of God's merciful love. He is also the great light that will lead humanity out of the morass of folly into which sin has brought it.
Machines are able to work in darkness, but we need light. We require not just illumination to walk about but, more importantly, inner light or wisdom. Jesus’ light enables us to recognize the often serious needs of others as well as the excessive attention we often give ourselves. His light is also made up of energy so that we may love God above all and others as ourselves.