(Part 170)


December 31, 2015

Today’s readings:

1 John 2:18-21

Psalm 96:1-13

John 1:1-18

It is the last day of the year. Soon, as midnight tonight approaches, it will be “the last hour” (1 Jn 2:18a). From a wider spiritual perspective, we are in the end times, “and just as you heard that the antichrist was coming, so now many antichrists have appeared.” (1 Jn 2:18b). There are many false prophets, many cults including satanists, and even a number of prelates within our Church who are assaulting the traditional teaching of Christ. “Thus we know this is the last hour.” (1 Jn 2:18c).

We end this year with the darkness of the night that deepens. And so too is it with the world. It is steeped in the darkness of sin and evil. But all is not bleak. Did we not just celebrate the birth of our Savior? In the dark of night, a star shone. With the coming of Jesus, “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (Jn 1:5).

For God’s light to dispel the darkness, we need to proclaim Jesus to the world. We need to “proclaim his salvation day after day. Tell his glory among the nations; among all peoples, his marvelous deeds.” (Ps 96:2b-3). This was what John the Baptist was tasked to do. “A man named John was sent from God. He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him.” (Jn 1:6-7).

This is our task as well. We are sent from and by God. We are to be witnesses, to testify to the Messiah. We share Christ, so that people might believe in him and thus be saved. We have been equipped, with the baptism in the Spirit and with formation and support in community. Thus “you have the anointing that comes from the holy one, and you all have knowledge.” (1 Jn 2:20). When people accept Jesus as Savior and Lord, they are restored to the embrace of the Father. “But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name.” (Jn 1:12).

Our work is about the transition from death to life, from darkness to light, from the world to the Lord, from condemnation to salvation, from misery to joy, from hopelessness to a future full of hope, from the end to a new beginning. This work is worth investing our life and resources in.

Thus we are called to the New Evangelization. We are to do rapid, massive and worldwide evangelization. We are to “declare among the nations: The Lord is king.” (Ps 96:10a). We are in the end times, we are at the last hour, the times are critically urgent. Let us prepare ourselves and the world “before the Lord who comes, who comes to govern the earth” (Ps 96:13a).

*     *     *