A reading from the first Letter of Saint John (1 John 2:22-28)
What you heard from the beginning abides in you.
Beloved: Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. Any one who denies the Son does not have the Father. He who confesses the Son has the Father also. Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he has promised us, eternal life. I write this to you about those who would deceive you; but the anointing which you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that any one should teach you; as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie, just as it has taught you, abide in him. And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 98:1 .2-3ab.3cd-4
R/. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
O sing a new song to the Lord,
for he has worked wonders.
His right hand and his holy arm
have brought salvation. R/.
The Lord has made known his salvation,
has shown his deliverance to the nations.
He has remembered his merciful love and
his truth for the house of Israel. R/.
All the ends of the earth have
seen the salvation of our God.
Shout to the Lord, all the earth;
break forth into joyous song,
and sing out your praise. R/.
ALLELUIA: Hebrews 11:2
Alleluia. Alleluia. In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son. Alleluia.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (John 1: 19-28)
“He who comes after me.”
This is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed, he did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” And he answered, “No.” They said to him then, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” He said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord, ’as the prophet Isaiah said.” Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, “Then why are you baptising, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?” John answered them, “I baptise with water; but among you stands one whom you do not know, even he who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” This took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptising.
The Gospel of the Lord
God continues to instruct us on the rules of life that would enable us to reap the benefits of being his true children. Yesterday we learnt from the docility and humility of Mary and the shepherds. Today we learn contentment from John the Baptist. He was doing some works for God that made it seem that he was the Messiah. The Jews then sent allies to ask him who he was (John 1:19). In humility, “he did not deny, but confessed, ‘I am not the Christ’” (John 1:20). Contentment saves us from stealing, envy and other related vices. It keeps us focused on the task we are sent to fulfill. If everyone does one’s task well, the world will be a better place.