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(Part 169)


December 29, 2015

Today’s readings:
1 John 2:3-11
Psalm 96:1-6
Luke 2:22-35

The true Christian is one who meets Christ, lives Christ and shares Christ.

Have we really met Christ? Do we know who he is, that he is the Messiah? Simeon was told “by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord.” (Lk 2:26). He saw Jesus when he was presented at the temple, and there he declared to God, “my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles” (Lk 2:30-32a).

How about people today? The world has just celebrated the coming of Jesus, but does the world recognize him as the Messiah? Has the world known the Christ? Do the many nominal Christians really know Jesus? “The way we may be sure that we know him is to keep his commandments.” (1 Jn 2:3). We are to live Christ. But seeing how the world, and many Christians, are living very sinful lives, in blatant violation of the commandments of God, it is clear that they have not known Jesus the Messiah.

And it is not just avoiding sin. To live Christ is to live the love of God, to be in union with God, and to strive for the very holiness of God. “But whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him. This is the way we may know that we are in union with him: whoever claims to abide in him ought to live just as he lived.” (1 Jn 2:5-6).

What does all these ought to lead us to? How do we live the love of God? Well, God so loved the world that He sent His own Son as Messiah, Savior and Lord. We must proclaim that Lord. How are we to be in union with God? Well, we are to be holy witnesses, living His way and proclaiming Jesus as the way. How are we to live as Jesus lived? Well, we are to expend ourselves to proclaim and establish the Kingdom. God loves us, and we in turn are not only to love Him but our neighbor as well. How do we express love for neighbor? The most important way is to share Christ. This is the work of evangelization.

We are called to the New Evangelization. John says, “Beloved, I am writing no new commandment to you but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. .... And yet I do write a new commandment to you, which holds true in him and among you” (1 Jn 2:7a,8a). The old and the new. So it is with evangelization. It is old, 2,000 years old, but the call is to the New Evangelization. This is our work, “for the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.” (1 Jn 2:8b).

To share Christ is to “proclaim his salvation day after day.” (Ps 96:2b). It is to be rapid and massive, persistent, insistent, persevering. To share Christ is to “tell his glory among the nations; among all peoples, his marvelous deeds.” (Ps 96:3). It is to be worldwide.

Do you truly know Jesus whose coming we just celebrated? Then be like Simeon, who “was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the holy Spirit was upon him.” (Lk 2:25b). Go to live and share Christ. Obey the command of Jesus to proclaim the gospel to all of creation. Let it not be said of you: “Whoever says, ‘I know him,’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” (1 Jn 2:4).

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