In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things came to be through him,
and without him nothing came to be.
What came to be through him was life,
and this life was the light of the human race;
the light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
He was in the world,
and the world came to be through him,
but the world did not know him.
He came to what was his own,
but his own people did not accept him.
But to those who did accept him
he gave power to become children of God,
to those who believe in his name,
who were born not by natural generation
nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision
but of God.
And the Word became flesh
and made his dwelling among us,
and we saw his glory,
the glory as of the Father’s only Son,
full of grace and truth.
All things came to be through Him.
This Christmas Gospel of John “pulls us” in a direction to encounter God Incarnate in a way that is perhaps very different from the way that we have been preparing for the Christmas season with angels and mangers and crèches filled with the baby Jesus, with Christmas trees and all sorts of songs that remind us to “deck the halls!”
For this Gospel, “pulls us”, almost with a gravitational force to reflect that the Christ, the very Word of God, God’s own “expression” becomes flesh and chooses to enter into the limits of human history. Jesus Christ, became one with humanity for the fulfillment of salvation history. And for what purpose? To reveal to us the essence of God as the eternal community of love and to invite us into that love- that joy. “I have told you this so that my own joy may be in you and your joy be complete. This is my commandment: love one another, as I have loved you.” (John 15: 11-12)
Good and gracious eternal God, it is with great joy that today we celebrate the coming of the Christ to our world! In the words of Pope Francis we are reminded that, “Before all else, the Gospel invites us to respond to the God of love who saves us, to see God in others and to go forth from ourselves to seek the good of others.” AMEN! AMEN! Let us go forth to be light to the world!
Augustine said, “In the end there will only be Christ loving himself.” This means that the whole of Creation is the Christ Mystery. The Eternal One has come forth and has taken on form and manifestation—which is us, which is the whole planet, the animals, plants, and elements, the galaxies and all the endless forms and faces that have come forth from God. Our job as conscious humans is to bring the beauty and goodness of everything to full consciousness, to full delight, to full awareness. When you understand that, you can understand what Paul means when he says that in the end “God will be all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28), which is surely where Augustine got the courage to say the same.