I was overjoyed to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we have been commanded by the Father. But now, dear lady, I ask you, not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning, let us love one another.
And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment just as you have heard it from the beginning, you must walk in it.
Many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh; any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist! Be on your guard, so that you do not lose what we have worked for, but may receive a full reward. Everyone who does not abide in the teaching of Christ, but goes beyond it, does not have God; whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.
They are happy whose life is blameless,
who follow God's law!
They are happy who do his will,
seeking him with all their hearts. (R./)
I have sought you wilh all my heart:
let me not stray from your commands.
I treasure your promise in my heart
lest I sin against you. (R./)
Bless your servant and I shall live
and obey your word.
Open my eyes that I may see
the wonders of your law. (R./)
Jesus said: "As it was in Noah's days, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking, and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed all of them. Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot: they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day that Lot left Sodom, it rained fire and sulfur from heaven and destroyed all of them, it will be like that on the day that the Son of Man is revealed.
"On that day, anyone on the housetop who has belongings in the house must not come down to take them away; and likewise anyone in the field must not turn back. Remember Lot's wife. Those who try to make their life secure will lose it, but those who lose their life will keep it. I tell you, on that night there will be two in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. There will be two women grinding meal together; one will be taken and the other left." Then they asked him, "Where, Lord?" He said to them, "Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather."
Even the good gifts of nature could sometimes distract us from ever thinking about our Creator. Because they are so good, they can drown out the desire to think beyond the pleasures of the present moment, to worship the One who sustains beautiful world. At the domestic level, once a pleasant meal has been eaten, we may forget to thank the cook. Parents who lavish their children with gadgets may easily be taken for granted.
By contrast, Saint John is delighted to find at least some of his Christians showing sincere love for each other. The Christian way of life ("walking in the truth") includes our whole set of relationships, in home and family, in community and daily work. Here is where we can practise compassion, forgiveness, joy and hope. If we are always gently aware of the gifted quality of all that is good in our world, the Tremendous Lover who inspires all goodness, we will be ready for the coming of the Son of Man.
While living fully and enthusiastically,we try to keep our Father and Creator in mind, to deepen our appreciation of life. If we forget the One who made us, our love can grow shallow and wither, drowned out as in the days of Noah, by eating and drinking, buying and selling and the many recreational activities that claim our attention.
The gospel warns against making the whole of life consist of eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, marrying and maintaining our relationships. These kind of activities are the very stuff of daily life and are vitally important. But we must not regard them as all that there is. Saint Paul says that God's invisible power and divine nature have been seen through the things he has made. He blames the pagan Romans for not honouring God or giving thanks to him, for "they became futile in their thinking". (Rom 2:20-22). This could be said equally of modern forms of paganism.
The Son of Man will be fully encountered at the end of time and at the end of our personal lives. But since the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, He is also present to us in our daily activities. Throughout life we are invited to engage with the Lord who is the source of life. He is a quiet presence as we go about whatever we do. All we need is to tune in to his wavelength.