Sermon for the Last Day of the Year – Br. David Allen
1 John 2:18-21
On this last day of the current year we can look back over the year now coming to an end. We can repent of our failures, and we give thanks for our blessings.
As we look forward to the New Year about to begin we can expect challenges. We should look with courage and hope, and we give thanks for rewards.
The first reading tells us knowledge of the truth will protect us from the antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.
The Gospel reading tells us in deeply moving language that Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word of God came into the world to make God known and to save us from our sins by our faith in Him.
In the First Reading we are reminded that it is the last hour. The people of that generation expected Jesus to return again in his physical body within their lifetimes. We know that Jesus did not do that, but he does return spiritually, many times. He comes to us in the Holy Communion under the veils of the bread and wine. Jesus also comes to us when we pray.
At the end of today’s first reading we are told that those to whom this letter was written have been anointed by the Holy One. To all of them knowledge of the truth is given. He wrote to encourage them that no lie comes from the truth. (1 Jn 2:21)
The Gospel reading sets before us the everlasting truth that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” What a thrill these words were to me at the age of 13 when I began to read the Bible for myself instead of reading the version in a Bible Story Book.
Discovering the Prologue of St. John’s Gospel opened my mind to a deeper understanding of God and the relationship between God the Father and Jesus Christ.
In time I came to comprehend and appreciate the last words of the prologue: “No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart who has made him known.” (Jn 1:18)
If our hearts are open we can come to know Jesus when we hear the Gospels read, or at least get a brief glimpse of him.
When you hear the Gospels read do you know Jesus? Do you know God in your heart? Be steadfast. Faith will come.
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