(Part 208)


December 27, 2016

Today’s readings:

1 John 1:1-4

Psalm 97:1-12

John 20:2-8

Christmas is about Jesus, the Son of God, being born in the world as the Son of Mary. It is the coming of the “Word of life–for the life was made visible” (1 Jn 1:1c-2a). Jesus would move on to fulfill his task as Savior of the world.

And what is our task? It is to witness to “what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we looked upon and touched with our hands” (1 Jn 1:1b). It is to “testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was made visible to us” (1 Jn 1:2b). Though we were not there at Jesus’ birth and resurrection, we testify that Jesus was born of Mary, suffered and died for our sins, and rose on the third day (Jn 20:5-8). And the purpose is to bring people to salvation, which is the very reason Jesus came into the world. It is to help bring people to God and to His Church. “What we have seen and heard we proclaim now to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; for our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.” (1 Jn 1:3).

We rejoice at Christmas time, and rightly so. If our joy is just in the parties, gift-giving and fellowship, then we have entirely missed the meaning of Christmas. Our joy can only be in the coming of God in the person of Jesus, and in the salvation that he brought. But is this joy to be kept to ourselves? Is the light not to be shared in order to dispel the darkness in the world. Are we not to share Christ with many others so that they too would experience true Christmas joy? This now is the work of evangelization. We proclaim Christ to the ends of the earth, so that Jesus would be accepted as Savior and King. “Our Lord is king; let the earth rejoice; let the many islands be glad.” (Ps 97:1).

And this is the only way by which “our joy may be complete.” (1 Jn 1:4).

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