Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Christmas Reflection: January 2nd

(I Jn 2:22-28; Jn 1:19-28)

Many commentators renounce any effort to find a logical arrangement and progression of thought in the internal structure of 1 John. Most biblical scholars hold that this epistle can be divided into three groups of remarks, preceded by a prologue and concluded with an appendix. The prologue holds to the principle of communion with the Father and the Son. Communion with God is walking in the light: the antithesis of light is darkness; the antithesis of truth is the lie. The author stresses the necessity of confession of sin and keeping the commandments and also of abstaining from the world and rejecting false teachers. Living as children of God is to bear witness to the truth.

The author of 1 John wants to confirm that the tradition that has been communicated to the community is authentic. He indicates that the anointing with the Spirit that came upon the community is God’s confirmation of the message’s authenticity. The author emphasizes that the Christians must hold onto the tradition they have received if they want to remain in authentic communion with the Son and in the Father.

The lack of structure in 1 John leads some scholars to suspect the book is a compilation of a didactic and a homiletic composition. In its literary form and purpose it lacks some of the marks of the epistles: it has no name of the sender or receiver and certainly no formulae of greeting or of conclusion.

+ Fr. Aloysius Hankinson, T.O.R. (1924 – 2006)

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord: and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul, and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.