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1 John 2:29-3:6

You must know that God is righteous -
then you must recognise that everyone whose life is righteous
has been begotten by him.
Think of the love that the Father has lavished on us,
by letting us be called God’s children;
and that is what we are.
Because the world refused to acknowledge him,
therefore it does not acknowledge us.
My dear people, we are already the children of God
but what we are to be in the future has not yet been revealed;
all we know is, that when it is revealed
we shall be like him
because we shall see him as he really is.
Surely everyone who entertains this hope
must purify himself, must try to be as pure as Christ.
Anyone who sins at all
breaks the law,
because to sin is to break the law.
Now you know that he appeared in order to abolish sin,
and that in him there is no sin,
and anyone who sins
has never seen him or known him.

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John 1:29-34

The next day, seeing Jesus coming towards him, John said, “Look, there is the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. This is the one I spoke of when I said: A man is coming after me who ranks before me because he existed before me. I did not know him myself, and yet it was to reveal him to Israel that I came baptising with water.” John also declared, “I saw the Spirit coming down on him from heaven like a dove and resting on him. I did not know him myself, but he who sent me to baptise with water had said to me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and rest is the one who is going to baptise with the Holy Spirit’. Yes, I have seen and I am the witness that he is the Chosen One of God.”
________________

When we were baptised, we were marked by the sign of the cross on our heads. Henceforth, we lived as Christians in the world. Does being a Christian mean that the moment a worldly person looks at us, he or she can tell immediately that we are Christians?

Looking at John the Baptist’s experience with Jesus, it is clearly that the mark of a Christian is not something physically apparent to the eyes of another. It does not mean then that being a Christian means you have to live apart from the world. It does not mean that you have to be a hermit, or that you have to stop clubbing or that you have to stop investing money, etc.

What it does mean is that the choices and the reasons for making them are different. For example, if you went clubbing in the past, perhaps it would be to pick up members of the opposite gender and to hang out with friends and talk dirty. Maybe now you go there and share the message of Christ, either in what you speak, or in the way you speak and behave towards others.

There is no place in the world that the Good News of Christ cannot go to. It might be unwelcome in some places, but there is nowhere that we are called not to bring it to. Some people are called to preach it from the rooftops; others are called to bring it to the places it is least likely to go. Sometimes this means concealing our Christian identity on the surface. Sometimes this means that we have to go for long periods of time without being able to boldly proclaim one’s Christian identity in public. Nonetheless, we are all called to bring Christ’s message to different people in different places and in different ways.

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