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First reading 1 John 2:18-21

You have been anointed by the Holy One

Children, these are the last days; you were told that an Antichrist must come, and now several antichrists have already appeared; we know from this that these are the last days. Those rivals of Christ came out of our own number, but they had never really belonged; if they had belonged, they would have stayed with us; but they left us, to prove that not one of them ever belonged to us. But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and have all received the knowledge. It is not because you do not know the truth that I am writing to you but rather because you know it already and know that no lie can come from the truth.
 

Responsorial Psalm 95(96):1-2,11-13

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 help day by day,
 
Let the heavens rejoice and earth be glad.
 
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,
  all the trees of the wood shout for joy
at the presence of the Lord for he comes,
  he comes to rule the earth.
 
Let the heavens rejoice and earth be glad.
 
With justice he will rule the world,
  he will judge the peoples with his truth.
 
Let the heavens rejoice and earth be glad.
 

Gospel John 1:1-18 

The Word was made flesh, and lived among us

In the beginning was the Word: and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things came to be, not one thing had its being but through him. All that came to be had life in him and that life was the light of men, a light that shines in the dark, a light that darkness could not overpower. A man came, sent by God. His name was John. He came as a witness, as a witness to speak for the light, so that everyone might believe through him. He was not the light, only a witness to speak for the light.
 
The Word was the true light that enlightens all men; and he was coming into the world. He was in the world that had its being through him, and the world did not know him. He came to his own domain and his own people did not accept him. But to all who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to all who believe in the name of him who was born not out of human stock or urge of the flesh or will of man but of God himself.
 
The Word was made flesh, he lived among us, and we saw his glory, the glory that is his as the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth. John appears as his witness. He proclaims: ‘This is the one of whom I said: He who comes after me ranks before me because he existed before me.’ Indeed, from his fullness we have, all of us, received –yes, grace in return for grace, since, though the Law was given through Moses, grace and truth have come through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; it is the only Son, who is nearest to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.
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REFLECTION
Friday, 31st December, Seventh day within the Octave of Christmas.
1 John 2:18-21, John 1:1-18

In the beginning was the Word: the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things came into being, not one thing came into being except through him. What has come into being in him was life, life that was the light of men; and light shines in darkness, and darkness could not overpower it. A man came, sent by God. His name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness to the light, so that everyone might believe through him. He wasnot the light, he was to bear witness to the light. The Word was the real light that gives light to everyone; he was coming into the world. He was in the world that had come into being through him, and the world did not recognise him.

He came to his own and his own people did not accept him. But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believed in his name who were born not from human stock or human desire or human will but from God himself. The Word became flesh, he lived among us, and we saw his glory, the glory that he has from the Father as only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth. John witnesses to him. He proclaims: ‘This is the one of whom I said: He who comes after me has passed ahead of me because he existed before me.’ Indeed, from his fullness we have, all of us, received– one gift replacing another, for the Law was given through Moses, grace and truth have come through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; it is the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.

Jesus is our Light

As we stand at the threshold of another new year, many of us would be looking back on the past year’s events- the good, the challenges, the losses, the regrets, etc. Let us look back with gratefulness and look at the future with hope. The gospel of today assures us that Jesus, the Word made flesh, the Light of God’s love, is with us at this final day of 2021 and will be with us at the beginning of 2022. “The Word was the real light that gives light to everyone…”. Jesus Himself declared, “I am the light of the world, whoevever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). In our dark moments of life, Jesus is our Light. He is the true light of God’s unconditional love that shines in our human experiences, and that will empower us to live as God’s beloved children. As we bid farewell to the old year and open the door to the new year, may we welcome Jesus and stay with Him. With Him, we are not afraid!

Question for reflection:
How do I want to live this final day of 2021?

Acknowledgment: Reflections are based on “Prayer for Living: The Word of God for Daily Prayer Year C” by Sr. Sandra Seow FMVD.