The Passionists have daily reflections on the Mass readings and I was the reflector for today:
The final days of the year are days for looking back and looking ahead. It’s a favorite time for pundits and experts of all kind to take their seats on radio and television talk shows to measure the times. They mostly see the past and future through the lens of politics and economics. Power and money explain it all, they say. But do they?
Our readings for today advise measuring things differently. “Children, it is the last hour; ?and just as you heard that the antichrist was coming,? so now many antichrists have appeared.” A grim assessment isn’t it? St. John’s 1st Letter seems to paint the times dark and haunted by evil spirits.
Yet, the opening words of his gospel that follow look beyond the darkness, beyond time and space, to the beginning of it all.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
The Word of God, Jesus Christ, brings to the world life and light, and darkness cannot overcome him. That’s something to remember as commentators throw up their hands trying to make sense of the world today. Or, more personally, when we hear ourselves thinking we’re going to be overcome by the dark.
The Word became flesh and has made his dwelling among us. “From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace.”