< <  

Friday, December 31, 2010

  > >

Pope St. Sylvester

1 John 2:18-21
Psalm 96:1-2, 11-13
John 1:1-18

View Readings
Similar Reflections

oil change

"You have the anointing." —1 John 2:20

The word "Christ" means "Anointed One," the Greek translation of the Hebrew word "Messiah." Therefore, by calling ourselves "Christians," we call ourselves "anointed ones." Moreover, the word "Christmas" means "the Mass of the Anointed One." The word "antichrist" means "against the Anointed One." Thus, the idea of anointing is very dominant in Christianity or, we could say, in "the way of the Anointed."

The heart of following Christ, "the Anointed One," is to "have the anointing that comes from the Holy One" (1 Jn 2:20). "The anointing" we "received from Him" must remain in our hearts (1 Jn 2:27). It teaches us "about all things and is true — free from any lie" (1 Jn 2:27). This anointing teaches us to remain in the Lord (1 Jn 2:27).

"God is the One Who firmly establishes us along with you in Christ; it is He Who anointed us and has sealed us, thereby depositing the first Payment, the Spirit, in our hearts" (2 Cor 1:21-22). We are anointed by the Father, in Christ, and with the Spirit. Like Christ and in Him, we Christians are anointed by the Father "with the Holy Spirit and power" (Acts 10:38). As anointed followers of the Anointed One, we are sent to bring good news "to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives, recovery of sight to the blind and release to prisoners, to announce a year of favor from the Lord" (Lk 4:18-19).

On this last day of the year, let us repent of stifling the Holy Spirit (1 Thes 5:19). We must let God's precious ointment be poured on our heads and run down over our whole body (see Ps 133:2). Come, Holy Spirit of Christmas.

Prayer:  Father, may the oil of my baptism and confirmation flow freely and abundantly.

Promise:  "No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, ever at the Father's side, Who has revealed Him." —Jn 1:18

Praise:  Pope St. Sylvester survived the persecutions of two emperors to see Christianity legalized.

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 28, 2010

The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.