Monday, December 31, 2012

so now many antichrists have appeared

On this last day of the year St. John describes not some terrifying supernatural being as seen in the movies, but members of the community who broke away, because they wanted to alter the message, these he calls the antichrists.

It is choice we all face. Will we be conformed to Christ (and his Church) or will we attempt to conform Christ (and his Church) to us?

Today's gospel is the prologue to John's gospel which includes:

And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only-begotten Son, full of grace and truth.

Grace and Truth

We like the grace but often we do not like the truth, especially when the truth sets limits on us: when the truth sets limits on our right to own things, and reminds us of our obligation to the poor, when the truth limits the way we use or bodies, when the truth reminds us that sin is still sin.

If we have been baptized then the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit is each of us. That Spirit has the power to transform us from the inside out, if we but let it.

Perhaps as we prepare to begin a new year, it is a good time for us to call to minds those pieces of the teaching of the Church we find most difficult, those parts where we may even think the Church is wrong and needs to change, and in 2013 truly open our minds and hearts.

We think of obedience as action, doing what some else tells us. At its root to obey means "to listen to". We live in a noise filled world; we hear sounds all the time, but how often do we actively listen particularly to the other side, to those who disagree with us.

On this last day of 2012, St. John puts before us another binary choice: to be christs or anitchrists. There is no middle position, no comfortable quasi-christ. We may never achieve the goal, in this life, but we should at least go for it. It begins with one easy step, in the words from Luke 9 "This is my chosen Son; listen to him." Listen with our hearts, listen most closely to that which we find least comfortable, and be transformed.