The Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas
Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

The Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas

Reading 1: (1 Jn 2:18-21)

Children, it is the last hour;
and just as you heard that the antichrist was coming,
so now many antichrists have appeared.
Thus we know this is the last hour.
They went out from us, but they were not really of our number;
if they had been, they would have remained with us.
Their desertion shows that none of them was of our number.
But you have the anointing that comes from the Holy One,
and you all have knowledge.
I write to you not because you do not know the truth
but because you do, and because every lie is alien to the truth.

Gospel: (Jn 1:1-18)

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things came to be through him,
and without him nothing came to be.
What came to be through him was life,
and this life was the light of the human race;
the light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.

A man named John was sent from God.
He came for testimony, to testify to the light,
so that all might believe through him.
He was not the light,
but came to testify to the light.
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world,
and the world came to be through him,
but the world did not know him.
He came to what was his own,
but his own people did not accept him.

But to those who did accept him
he gave power to become children of God,
to those who believe in his name,
who were born not by natural generation
nor by human choice nor by a man's decision
but of God.

And the Word became flesh
and made his dwelling among us,
and we saw his glory,
the glory as of the Father's only-begotten Son,
full of grace and truth.

John testified to him and cried out, saying,
"This was he of whom I said,
'The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me
because he existed before me.'"
From his fullness we have all received,
grace in place of grace,
because while the law was given through Moses,
grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
No one has ever seen God.
The only-begotten Son, God, who is at the Father's side,
has revealed him.


 

I. THEME: The anti-Christs are those who refused to welcome Christ.

            Facing Christ’s appearance, people are required to choose: to believe in him or not. Depending on their choice, people determine for themselves to be died for ever or to have eternal life. God has no need to judge people, He let people to judge themselves. This point was clearly presented in the Fourth Gospel: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God” (Jn 3:16-18).

            Today readings center on the denial and the welcome of Christ. In the first reading, the author mentioned the anti-Christs and the last battle of Christians with these people. In the Gospel, St. John the evangelist reported two main reactions of people when they see the Word: There are some who refuse to welcome him: “He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not. He came to his own home, and his own people received him not” (Jn 1:10-11). “But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God (Jn 1:12).

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: You have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come.

1.1/ The last battle with the anti-Christs:

            (1) When shall be the last hour? There are two opinions:

            - It is the period before the Last Day: From the apostles’ time, people always tried to guest when the Last Day shall happen. St. Paul, in his first Letter to the Thessalonians, predicted the Last Day shall happen in a closed future; but after that, he reconsidered his prediction in 2 Thessalonica, chapter 2 and 1 Corinth, chapter 7.

            - It is the period between the Messiah’s coming and the Last Day: Most of people accepted this hypothesis because Jesus mentioned many times in the Gospels. Jesus himself confirmed that day shall certainly be happened, but when shall it happen, no one knows except God the Father. Since no one knows when it will happen, all people must always be prepared.

            (2) Who are the anti-Christs? The preposition anti has two meanings in Greek; therefore, the noun anti-Christ also has two meanings:

            - Those who oppose Christ: are those who directly or simply oppose him; for examples, the heresies oppose against Christ’s divinity or his humanity, or the beast in the Book of Revelation.

            - Those who want to take Christ’s place indirectly or secretly; for example, instead of leading people to God, someone take advantage of their position to lead people to themselves or to make people to be far away from God.

1.2/ The signs to identify the anti-Christs:

            (1) They are those who live among us: They are not devils in human bodies as some incorrectly said. St. Paul pointed out: “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out, that it might be plain that they all are not of us.” Since they lived among us, we must be carefully cautious because it is hard to identify them.

            (2) The Holy Spirit will help us to identify the anti-Christs: “But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all know. I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and know that no lie is of the truth.” The Holy Spirit is the truth, he shall help the faithful to recognize who are the anti-Christs.

2/ Gospel: He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not.

2.1/ The Word reveals himself to the world: St. John listed out at least three ways that the Word has revealed himself.

            (1) Through creation: “All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.In him was life, and the life was the light of men.” People must use their intellect to recognize God through His creation and providence.

            (2) Through John Baptist: “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him.” John Baptist was Christ’s human witness and he pointed to Christ and introduced him to people: “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (Jn 1:29).

            (3) Through the event of Christ’s Incarnation: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.” The apostles have seen the Word in human flesh. He lived among them, taught and did many miracles to show his power. St. John the evangelist witnessed to us in both his Gospel and Letters, those who don’t have opportunity to see the Word in human flesh.

2.2/ Human reactions: There are two main reactions from human beings:

            (1) Those who deny and refuse to believe in Christ: “He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not. He came to his own home, and his own people received him not.” God gives people many opportunities to believe in Him. They didn’t recognize His presence through creation. They didn’t recognize His presence through the mystery of Incarnation. Lastly, they refused to believe the witness of those who witnessed for Him. At Jesus’ time as also today, there always exist some people like that.

            (2) Those who welcome and believe in him: “But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”

           

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                     

            - We must believe in Christ to become God’s children and to inherit the eternal life.

            - People judge themselves when they decide to believe or not to believe in Christ.

            - We must be carefully cautious of the anti-Christs. They are those who refused to believe in Christ, those who falsely claimed something in his name, and those who wanted to substitute him by other things in this life.

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