Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Christmas Reflection: January 4th

(I Jn 3:7-10; Jn 1:35-42)

“Today’s first reading expresses the contrast between holiness and sin. The contrast motif continues throughout these verses with Christ pitted against the devil and holiness contrasted with sin. When placed in this dualistic framework, the reality of Christian truth stands out clearly— in Christ, we who have been saved from our sins are to lead holy lives, rejecting sin and abiding in Christ. This gift of salvation is therefore not an individual possession; it endures in the Christian community whose chief characteristic is love for each other. The holiness referred to in this reading should not be understood as the moral perfection of each member of the body; the state of being like God is given to the church as a whole so that God’s love and salvation can be experienced in the Christian community. This Christmas season is a time of annual renewal in love— of God’s love for us in Christ and of our love for each other. Empowered with God’s love, we must choose Christ over the allurements of the devil and holiness over attachment to sin.”

– Kevin W. Irwin, Advent/ Christmas: A Guide to the Eucharist and Hours (New York: Pueblo Publishing Company, 1986), 251, 252.