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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

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Pope St. Sylvester

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

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how to end a year

"Children, it is the final hour; just as you heard that the antichrist was coming, so now many such antichrists have appeared." —1 John 2:18

Many "antichrists have appeared." "It was from our ranks that they took their leave — not that they really belonged to us; for if they had belonged to us, they would have stayed with us" (1 Jn 2:19). There are baptized Christians who are officially members of the Church but do not belong to the Church in their hearts. These people have joined the Church socially and culturally but have not totally given their lives to Jesus and His body, the Church. They have been sacramentalized but not evangelized, and are in danger of becoming antichrists.

On this last day of the secular year, may each of us make a total commitment to Jesus. Jesus is God. He is the eternal and incarnate Word of God (Jn 1:1, 14). "Through Him all things came into being, and apart from Him nothing came to be" (Jn 1:3). Jesus is "the real Light Which gives light to every man" (Jn 1:9). We are not doing Jesus a favor by giving our lives to Him. We are privileged that He has given us the life, freedom, breath, faith, and love to give our lives to Him. How could we not give our lives to Him! Let's not let another year, day, hour, or minute go by without giving everything to Jesus. "To His own He came, yet His own did not accept Him. Any who did accept Him He empowered to become children of God" (Jn 1:11-12). Let's not only be in the ranks of the Church, but let's belong to Christ and His Church. Let's live for Christ and not be antichrists.

Prayer:  Abba, as I begin a new year, I respond to Your love by renewing my baptismal promises.

Promise:  "The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us, and we have seen His glory: the glory of an only Son coming from the Father, filled with enduring love." —Jn 1:14

Praise:  Pope St. Sylvester believed in the power of fasting to defeat evil (see Mt 17:21). He declared Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays to be fast days.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 30, 2014

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