When we think about Christmas, our minds naturally conjure up images loosely based on the Gospels of Matthew and Luke; images of Joseph and Mary and the child Jesus in what might look like a cave or a barn, surrounded by shepherds and animals and three men who are dressed like kings, and could also be called wise men.
The gospel passage for Christmas Day is taken from the prologue to the Gospel of John, who offers a very different reflection on the meaning of God’s appearance in the person of Jesus Christ. Saint John’s use of this magnificent poem or hymn to Christ situates the incarnation in the eternal workings of the heart of God, who so loved the world that he sent his Son to dwell amongst us that we might recognize his love in the self-forgetting and self-giving of the Word made flesh. The Book of Wisdom, in a beautiful outburst of prophetic delight, sprinkled with seeming unintended Christmas tones, announces, “When peaceful silence lay over all, and night had run the half of her swift course, down from the heavens, from the royal throne, leapt your all-powerful Word” (Wisdom 18:14-15).
“And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us” (verse 14). With so much to ponder in this majestic opening to the gospel of John, verse 14 has taken on its own place in the spiritual imagination of the Christian church. God entered into the human condition and became like us in all things but sin. In this, we see that God does not condemn the world but comes to renew, restore, and redeem the world and all its brokenness, including our own.
This is God’s Christmas gift to us.
Let Us Pray:
Lord, may your Word be a light to our world. Amen.
Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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