Scripture: Lectionary 211 I John 5:14-21. Psalm 149:1-2.3-220.127.116.11 John 2:1-12
In a personal and intuitive meditation of our selection from I John one can find an excellent form of preparation for the sacrament of reconciliation. It mentions both sin which is not deadly and sin which is deadly. The latter indicates spiritual death, the opposite of what the Epistle of John is stressing about eternal life through Jesus Christ. The communitarian form of the sacrament is the forgiving of one another and helping our neighbor not to sin with the reciprocal type of love from our neighbor that helps us not to sin.
John goes on to say, “No one begotten of God sins.” This first is seen in Jesus who is the only begotten son of God and is an absolute truth seen through revelation and accepted through faith. It becomes a sacramental truth for us at our reception of Baptism and then is completed by Reconciiation when we do sin. When we receive Baptism we are begotten of God and are those sinless persons that John speaks of.
Our reading from John concludes today while speaking of discernment so necessary for our lives to help us avoid sin and the “near occasions of sin.” In our spiritual life all that needs to be discerned to identify ourselves with the fullness of the Christ-life are the two principal themes that were developed through the entire Epistle of John, faith and love. These two gifts of the Spirit are present in our discernment process as disciples of Jesus. Through them we are one with Jesus and are brothers and sisters in a community of equals and believers. Through our individual and common effort we lead others to leave sin and to come and follow Jesus.
John says this clearly, “And we are in the One who is true, for we are in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.” We recall that after speaking about belief in the person of Jesus, John then speaks of God as love.
These words are implied in the sacrament of Baptism where we have been anointed with the Holy Spirit and prepared for the journey to eternal life. With the words of the sacred writer we then can be reconciled with God if we do happen to sin. The sacrament of reconciliation restores us to who we are meant to be with Christ Jesus living within us and leading us to eternal life. And as the start, Jesus as God and Redeemer from all sin shines forth as this highpoint of the Epistle. Amen.