Memory of the Church

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

1 John 2, 18-22

Children, this is the final hour; you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, and now many Antichrists have already come; from this we know that it is the final hour.

They have gone from among us, but they never really belonged to us; if they had belonged to us, they would have stayed with us. But this was to prove that not one of them belonged to us.

But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and have all received knowledge.

I have written to you not because you are ignorant of the truth, but because you are well aware of it, and because no lie can come from the truth.

Who is the liar, if not one who claims that Jesus is not the Christ? This is the Antichrist, who denies both the Father and the Son.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John’s letter, which from the beginning has refuted those who sow division in the community, now hardens its tone. The presence of false prophets identified with the antichrist leads John to say that "the last times" have come. Jesus himself had warned the disciples about this on several occasions. In Mark we read, "False messiahs and false prophets will appear and produce signs and omens, to lead astray, if possible, the elect" (Mk 13:22). The same warning appears in the letters of Paul, Peter, and Jude. But in saying that the last times had come, John did not mean that history was about to end; he meant that the time of decision had come, the time to definitively choose Jesus and the Gospel. This is true for every generation of Christians, indeed, it is true for every believer. We are all tested during our lives by the enemies of the Gospel. We have to decide to be with Jesus; the decision can not be put off. John points out two traits that characterize the false prophets - they divide the community and deny the Gospel. That is why he writes, "They went out from us, but they did not belong to us." They do not have "the anointing received by the Holy One"; that is, they do not have the Spirit of Jesus that is poured into the hearts of the disciples. It is not enough to be in the community physically, we have to live it in the spirit and be involved in it with our inner life. Knowledge, on which John insists, includes faithfulness to Jesus’ teachings as they are transmitted by the Church. She is also a spiritual and loving link with the Lord, in order not to be deceived by those who affirm their own truth. This repeated exhortation warns even us from following the common thinking, accepting it and decreasing our fidelity to the Word of God. The apostle urges his readers to stay strong in the Gospel, because observing it keeps us in communion with the Father.