DAILY MASS READINGS (December 31, 2019)

SEVENTH DAY WITHIN THE OCTAVE OF THE NATIVITY OF THE LORD (CYCLE A, White)

Reading 1 (1 JOHN 2:18-21)

A reading from the 1st Letter of St. John

Children, it is the last hour;
and just as you heard that the antichrist was coming,
so now many antichrists have appeared.
Thus we know this is the last hour.
They went out from us, but they were not really of our number;
if they had been, they would have remained with us.
Their desertion shows that none of them was of our number.
But you have the anointing that comes from the Holy One,
and you all have knowledge.
I write to you not because you do not know the truth
but because you do, and because every lie is alien to the truth.

– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 96:1-2, 11-12, 13)

R. (11a) Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name;
announce his salvation, day after day.
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice;
let the sea and what fills it resound;
let the plains be joyful and all that is in them!
Then shall all the trees of the forest exult before the LORD.
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
The LORD comes,
he comes to rule the earth.
He shall rule the world with justice
and the peoples with his constancy.
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!


Alleluia (JOHN 1:14A, 12A)

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us.
To those who accepted him
he gave power to become the children of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Gospel (JOHN 1:1-18)A reading from the beginning of the Holy Gospel according to John

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.

A man named John was sent from God.
He came for testimony, to testify to the light,
so that all might believe through him.
He was not the light,
but came to testify to the light.
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world,
and the world came to be through him,
but the world did not know him.
He came to what was his own,
but his own people did not accept him.

But to those who did accept him
he gave power to become children of God,
to those who believe in his name,
who were born not by natural generation
nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision
but of God.

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.

John testified to him and cried out, saying,
“This was he of whom I said,
‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me
because he existed before me.’”
From his fullness we have all received,
grace in place of grace,
because while the law was given through Moses,
grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
No one has ever seen God.
The only-begotten Son, God, who is at the Father’s side,
has revealed him.

– The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection: As we are about to undergo the transition from 2019 to 2020, Saint John the Beloved Apostle invites us to look into the beginning of our salvation. His Gospel begins with a very beautiful Prologue about the Eternal Word that became flesh, and pitched its tent among us. The Word was already with God at the beginning and was also divine in nature. In the fullness of time, this Word gave life and light by becoming like human existence, except that it did not experience the corruption of sin. That’s why the New Year should not be apart from Christmas Time because during this Season, we remember the Mystery of the Incarnation when God became man in the form of the Son Jesus Christ. This didn’t happen because we were righteous or sinners, but that we were loved in the beginning, and we have the calling of becoming God’s adopted children. But because sin entered the world, it so happened that there was already a plan for our Redemption. That’s why Jesus was hanged on the Cross for our salvation to prevent ourselves from indulging into sin. Yes the Word wasn’t accepted when it came, but afterwards when millions and billions of people from every generation accepted it, salvation was granted. 2 chapters after the Prologue, we will find our most favourite Bible passage, wherein it tells us that we are already loved by God, which is why he sent the Son into the world that we may be saved and have life through him if we believe in him. And the teachings and ministry of Christ is the will of the heavenly Father.
What a way to end another civil year by looking at the fulfillment of God’s promise. Yes, the Liturgical Calendar began a month ago with Advent. It reached its highest point on the fourth week when we meditated on the Incarnation narrative, the First Coming of our Lord. And at Christmas, we celebrated the dawning of our salvation who was born in a humble stable, yet was conceived in the womb of the Blessed Virgin by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Liturgical Year through the celebrations and mysteries of God’s love and salvation centers on the theme that the Lord is always in our midst, and he is Lord of the past, the future, and the present. So as we journey this Christmas road and begin the New Civil Year 2019, may we recognize God’s presence among us through the Word-made-flesh, Jesus Christ, and with faith and perseverance ready ourselves to face new challenges that another year has in store.

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