Dec 31: Christmas Octave

1 John 2:18-21 / John 1:1-18

Antichrists have appeared; They came from our ranks

 Renegade Christians were spreading heresy within the early Church. Influenced by Gnosticism (which derived its name from the Greek word for “knowledge”), they preached the doctrine that “knowledge” or faith sufficed for salvation. One’s moral conduct had little or nothing to do with it. John identifies these teachers as “antichrists,” “enemies of Christ.”

They were people who set themselves up in opposition to Christ (the Messiah) and his teaching. Jesus himself warned about them in Matthew: “False Messiahs and false prophets will appear ... to deceive

even God’s chosen people.” Matthew 24:24


Do we guard against false teachings that are contrary to the Gospel? “If anyone preaches to you a gospel that is different from the one you accepted, may he be condemned to hell!” Galatians 1:9


Today the liturgy fits in very well with the celebration of New Year’s Eve: it both looks forward to the end of time (first reading) and back to the beginning: to the Word that created all and came among people as the living Word, Jesus, to make a new beginning with us. And that’s life: the end of what is past, a new beginning to be made ever anew. It was a mixture of joys shared together and miseries that were lighter when they too were borne together. And a time for which, after all, we are grateful to one another and to God. A turning point is also a time of hope. The past is gone; we look forward. We say goodbye and we welcome what is coming with hope, for the Lord is with us; we resume our journey together as God’s pilgrim people. 


Today being the last day of the year, it is also a unique time when we look in two differing directions. Yes, we look forward to the new year ahead, with its "joys and hopes," as well as its "griefs and anxieties" (Pastoral Constitution On The Church In The Modern World, Gaudium Et Spes Promulgated by His Holiness, Pope Paul VI on December 7, 1965

Yes, the future is uncertain and unpredictable, but that is what the mystery of life is all about. On the other hand, we also look back on the 365 days that had passed, for some it was quickly, for others it was slowly, but in whatever case, it has gone down to memory and for our recollection and reflection.

For better or for worse, be it good times or bad, the gospel takes our recollection and reflection to "In the beginning was the Word..." And that is to tell us that the Word of God was made flesh everyday of 2016, from the 1st January to today. The question is: Did we recognize Him and accepted Him into our lives?

Or is it like what the gospel said: He came to His own domain, and His own people did not accept Him. The 1st reading begins with an opposite time when it says that "these are the last days", and it is described as a rather turbulent time, with the appearance of several antichrists, arising from within the church.

But as it says of these antichrists, they had never really belonged and now they had become enemies of the Church.

So as we come to the last day of the year, let us acknowledge the presence of Jesus, the Word made flesh, and let us welcome Him into our lives. Let us pledge to belong to Him so that He will be present to us all the days of the new year ahead.

Opening Prayer

Loving Father, You gave us your Son Jesus Christ and let him share our poverty. He brought us grace upon grace, for all that comes from you is a free gift. Accept our thanks for the moments when we accepted your gifts and shared them with one another. Accept our thanks for the times we listened attentively to your Son’s words and put them into practice. Help us go forward with hope and joy with joy and mutual encouragement. with the companion in life you have given us, Jesus Christ our Lord.