Christmas and Saint John

Merry Christmas! Have been busied these past months. Did not have much time to come up with something to write, but have chanced upon a very touching passage from Saint John. As Christians we have heard about this passage at one of the many Masses we have attended. But reading it in the silence of my room in an after-Christmas-party-mood, it sent some chills into my nerves.

I was kind of reflecting over this, and I think this is one of the most important documents (or writings) handed over to us by Christians for over two thousand years. John is telling us that he is a witness to Jesus, the word of life. He has seen, heard and touched him in the flesh. But if we can have a share to what John has seen in his life, we have to have fellowship with hi, but in order to do that we must walk in the light. We are liars if we only say “We have fellowship with him,” and yet do not live in the light-  much like the saying that not all who say “Lord, lord!” will enter the kingdom of heaven. Also, we are liars if we say, “We have never sinned.” Although, the last point is something familiar to us, still, it is a source of confusion for many of us!

We always expect a Christian or someone who goes to mass, to be unblemished. We get scandalized or fidgety when we find out his or her sins. But reading Saint John, he seems to be taking sin for granted. He will not be surprised if you admit that you are sinful. Wala namang magdududa kung sinabi mong makasalanan ka di ba? In terms of sin, Saint John is more understanding than most of us. He does not encourage us to sin, but what he says is that we have to remain honest when it comes to our sins. Being honest is the first step for us to be forgiven. John assures us that if we are honest, Jesus Christ will intercede for us.

If we would only read the Scriptures carefully, especially now in times of confusion and division, we will find guidance on how we should see others, ourselves and God.

Now, I share with you the message from Saint John.

From the first letter of the apostle John 1:1-23

This is what we proclaim to you:
What was from the beginning,
What we have heard,
What we have seen with our eyes,
What we have looked upon
And our hands have touched –
We speak of the word of life.

(This life became visible;
We have seen and bear witness to it,
And we proclaim to you the eternal life
That was present to the Father
And became visible to us.)
What we have seen and heard
We proclaim in turn to you
So that you may share life with us.
This fellowship of ours is with the Father
And with his Son, Jesus Christ.
Indeed, our purpose in writing you this
Is that our joy may be complete.

Here, then, is the message
We have heard from him
And announce to you:
That God is light;
In him there is no darkness.
If we say, “We have fellowship with him,”
While continuing to walk in darkness,
We are liars and do not act in truth.
But if we walk in light,
As he is in the light,
We have fellowship with one another,
And the blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from all sin.

If we say, “We are free of the guilt of sin,”
We deceive ourselves; the truth is not to be found in us.
But if we acknowledge our sins,
He who is just can be trusted
To forgive our sins
And cleanse us from every wrong.
If we say, “We have never sinned,”
we make him a liar
and his word finds no place in us.

My little ones,
I am writing this to keep you from sin.
But if anyone should sin,
We have, in the presence of the Father,
Jesus Christ, an intercessor who is just.
He is an offering for our sins,
And not for our sins only,
But for those of the whole world.

The way we can be sure of our knowledge of him
Is to keep his commandments.

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