Readings and Reflection for Friday December 31, Seventh Day within the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord


“You have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all know.”
A reading from the first Letter of Saint John (1 John 2:18-21)

Children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come; therefore we know that it is the last hour. 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. 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 word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM  Psalm 96: 1-2.11-12.13 (R. 11a)
R/. Let the heavens rejoice and earth be glad. 

O sing a new song to the Lord;
sing to the LORD, all the earth.
O sing to the Lord; bless his name.
Proclaim his salvation day by day. R/.

Let the heavens rejoice and earth be glad;
let the sea and all within it thunder praise.
Let the land and all it bears rejoice. R/.

R/. Let the heavens rejoice and earth be glad. 

Then will all the trees of the wood shout for joy.
At the presence of the Lord, for he comes,
he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with justice;
he will govern the peoples with his truth. R/.

ALLELUIA  John 1: 14a.12ac
Alleluia. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. To all who received him he gave power to become children of God. Alleluia.

“The Word became flesh.”
The beginning of the holy Gospel according to John (John 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 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. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 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. He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light. The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world. 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. 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. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only-begotten Son from the Father. (John bore witness to him, and cried, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, for he was before me.”’) And from his fullness have we all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.

The Gospel of the Lord.

At the threshold of a new year, the Gospel reading reflects a moment of new beginning through the arrival of the light. It opens with the words, “in the beginning.” The reading continues to speak of a light that shines in the darkness, a light that cannot be overcome by darkness, a true light that enlightens everyone. The light in question is the light of the word, who was with God in the beginning. That unsurpassable light has become accessible to us through the incarnation. Now, as the light is in our midst, those who accept him will no longer tread in darkness but in the radiance of his eternal light and life. Those who reject him and refuse to share in his life will continue to grope in the dark; not knowing where to go and what to do. Only Jesus the eternal light can guarantee a new beginning in the New year with hearts and minds freed from darkness.


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