The blog follows the daily bible readings of the Catholic Church
Reading 1, 1 John 2:3-11
3 In this way we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.
4 Whoever says, ‘I know him’ without keeping his commandments, is a liar, and truth has no place in him.
5 But anyone who does keep his word, in such a one God’s love truly reaches its perfection. This is the proof that we are in God.
6 Whoever claims to remain in him must act as he acted.
7 My dear friends, this is not a new commandment I am writing for you, but an old commandment that you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the message you have heard.
8 Yet in another way, I am writing a new commandment for you — and this is true for you, just as much as for him — for darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining.
9 Whoever claims to be in light but hates his brother is still in darkness.
10 Anyone who loves his brother remains in light and there is in him nothing to make him fall away.
11 But whoever hates his brother is in darkness and is walking about in darkness not knowing where he is going, because darkness has blinded him.
Gospel, Luke 2:22-35
22 And when the day came for them to be purified in keeping with the Law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord- 23 observing what is written in the Law of the Lord: Every first-born male must be consecrated to the Lord- 24 and also to offer in sacrifice, in accordance with what is prescribed in the Law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons. 25 Now in Jerusalem there was a man named Simeon. He was an upright and devout man; he looked forward to the restoration of Israel and the Holy Spirit rested on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he had set eyes on the Christ of the Lord. 27 Prompted by the Spirit he came to the Temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the Law required, 28 he took him into his arms and blessed God; and he said:
29 Now, Master, you are letting your servant go in peace as you promised;
30 for my eyes have seen the salvation
31 which you have made ready in the sight of the nations;
32 a light of revelation for the gentiles and glory for your people Israel.
33 As the child’s father and mother were wondering at the things that were being said about him,
34 Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘Look, he is destined for the fall and for the rise of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is opposed-35 and a sword will pierce your soul too — so that the secret thoughts of many may be laid bare.’
This is a very severe passage of the letter of John, reminding the reader that only those who obey Jesus have any real knowledge of him. Those who claim him for their own without obedience to his commands are liars. This cuts the feet from most of us, but especially from those whose version of faith ignores Jesus’ commands, and the need for obedience to him. But surely Jesus is the means of forgiveness? Yes, but only of those who know how much they need forgiveness for breaking his commands and are ready to renew their obedience. It is a disgrace to Christianity that we know the ten commandments of the Old Testament better than we know the commands of Jesus. This leads to ridiculous witness like that of the Free Church in the Scottish Islands which demonstrates publicly about the Sabbath Day but not about forgiveness or love for enemies.
Symeon’s prophecy to Mary about Jesus future calls him a sign to be opposed. Many Christian cultures have so neglected Jesus’ commands that he is no longer opposed, because he is thought to stand for what God-fearing people want anyway. A list of the commands of Jesus Christ might help to keep us all a bit straighter.