I presume it is intentional on the part of those charged with the choice of liturgical texts to have the first reading today (1 JN 2:18-21) begin with the words, “Children, it is the last hour…” Scholars have said that the author was writing to the Christian community to strengthen them against those (“antichrists”) who were spreading untruths about the Christ and about what faithful disciples believed to be imminent, i.e. the fact that Christ would be returning soon to the benefit of “the anointed ones.” It sounds like a serious moment of choice about belief and how to live it. In a way, we might see an analogy in the situation of Americans today. Clearly we are on the cusp of great – one might even say stunning – changes in our country, and it is becoming clearer that similar scenarios are being played out in other parts of the world as well.
It is not my intention this morning to reflect on such weighty topics as are before us all, but it is, in fact, the last day of the year (my reason for commenting on the intentionality of liturgical scholars). My thoughts today are clearly personal – and actually contrived in a way. Regular readers may have noticed that there was no blog post yesterday. Circumstances were some of the reason but there was a small part of me that wanted to postpone until this day – the cusp of a new year. You see, this post, as incredible as it seems to me, is the 1,000th almost-daily “word” that has appeared here. I have thought on occasion of giving up the practice, but since our readership has remained somewhat steady, with incremental increases on occasion (561 at this point), and since it is now, in fact, a practice for me, I see it as a benefit in my own spiritual life. Since this is the moment for resolutions about personal betterment in the coming year I suppose I should do my best to re-energize my commitment to deepening the totality of all things spiritual in my life and let the postings take shape from that place.
Because I have come to believe, as St. Paul clearly stated, that none of us lives as our own master, concluding that we are all one in Christ (and I would venture in our day to add “in humanity”), my strongest desire for this daily work is for us all to grow together. To that purpose I will continue to search for deeper expressions of truth and the love upon which I base all my beliefs. May all of our resolutions lead us day by day to the unity and peace that is surely possible if we move toward it together. And tomorrow may we awaken with a willingness to commit to that future as we wish those we meet a Happy New Year.