1 John 5:5-13
In the first reading for today’s Liturgy, we are given a message of comfort and strength. The question is asked: "Who is the victor over the world?" And the answer comes out boldly, "The one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God!"
John the Evangelist finds three witnesses to this truth.
Jesus is the one who came through water-a precious water in which he was baptized and undertook our redemption, the water that foretells our baptism and the removal of sin. It was at this baptism that the Baptist proclaimed "Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world. I have seen and testify that he is the Son of God." The Baptist was informed by God that the "one on whom the Spirit descended was the one sent to baptize with the Spirit."
There was the testimony of blood. The blood shed for many. The blood of the Cross. The blood offered by an eternal spirit. The blood that saves us. The blood given for us. The blood offered through the Holy Spirit.
The Apostle is encouraging the first Christians with a vision of the source of their power to overcome the attractions of the world for which Jesus did not pray. Jesus overcame the powers of evil, he disarmed our enemies and he pours his strength into us through the removal of our sins in water. We have rejoiced in God’s magnificent gift to us, even the Divine Son.
The Christmas cycle has had us commemorating the events surrounding the birth of our Savior, our promise of victory. Today’s reading has St.John assuring us the promise has been kept. Baptism, in the Jordan, Sacrifice on Calvary is our Redemption. "We are more than conquerors!"
Fr. Fred Sucher, C.P. is retired and lives in the Passionist community in Chicago. For many years he taught philosophy to Passionist seminarians.