6 January 2016
1 John 5:5-13
Who can overcome the world?
Only the man who believes that Jesus is the Son of God:
Jesus Christ who came by water and blood,
not with water only,
but with water and blood;
with the Spirit as another witness –
since the Spirit is the truth –
so that there are three witnesses,
the Spirit, the water and the blood,
and all three of them agree.
We accept the testimony of human witnesses,
but God’s testimony is much greater,
and this is God’s testimony,
given as evidence for his Son.
Everybody who believes in the Son of God
has this testimony inside him;
and anyone who will not believe God
is making God out to be a liar,
because he has not trusted
the testimony God has given about his Son.
This is the testimony:
God has given us eternal life
and this life is in his Son;
anyone who has the Son has life,
anyone who does not have the Son does not have life.
I have written all this to you
so that you who believe in the name of the Son of God
may be sure that you have eternal life.
In the course of his preaching John said, ‘Someone is following me, someone who is more powerful than I am, and I am not fit to kneel down and undo the strap of his sandals. I have baptised you with water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.’
It was at this time that Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptised in the Jordan by John. No sooner had he come up out of the water than he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit, like a dove, descending on him. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on you.’
I have written all this to you so that you who believe in the name of the son of God may be sure that you have eternal life
Beliefs can be a very powerful tool for people. There are those who are willing to die for their beliefs in the face of opposition, and the Catholic Church is filled with the examples and stories of martyrs which encourage us to hold onto our faith. Whilst these martyrs have certainly given up their lives for their beliefs, martyrdom is also suffered in a different form in this modern day and age.
We will be constantly attacked for our beliefs in the office e.g. engaging in acts which border on being illegal or immoral. It is in such times like these that we have to re-examine what we stand for. It is easy to go with the flow and say that because everyone is doing it, it is ok to engage in such actions. I pray for each one of us that we will not be placed in such a position where we have to make such difficult decisions; but if we do, that we turn to God the Holy Spirit within us to guide us on what we need to do. The readings of today remind us that God the Holy Spirit is given to us in this present day and age to help us make decisions in an uncertain world.
As Christians, we need to be in constant contact with God the Holy Spirit to enlighten us on our actions and not take things for granted. To take a decision which is God-filled requires us to sometimes, or even most of the time, go against the flow of the world. This is something we can do as long as we are firm in our Faith. The issue here is not the recognition which the world offers us but that we make a decision based on the principles which God has given us. As we do so, we will be able to let others see that we are Christians who believe in the Son of God and are unwavering in our beliefs.
(Today’s Oxygen by Nicholas Chia)
Prayer – Heavenly Father, we pray for the strength to hold onto our Faith despite persecutions.
Thanksgiving – We give thanks for all who hold onto their Faith despite persecution.