December 31, 2019

But to those who did accept him [Jesus] 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.

These words from St. John’s prologue are startling, yet few people probably realize their implication. In the preceding verse John mourns the fact that “the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him.” He rejoices, then, that some did accept him. And what a privilege they receive in return: an entirely new birth as God’s children. It almost sounds like a description of virgin birth, does it not? We are born not by natural generation nor by human choice or decision, but of God himself.

The idea is that our birth as God’s children is not of our own doing. It is pure gift, the work of God alone. All we can do is be open to that gift and allow God’s grace to bear fruit in us. What a wonderful privilege this is! The Word of God penetrates within a person making that one feel accepted as a son or daughter of God.

The Prologue also says that, “the Word became flesh and lived among us.” In ancient times, at the time of Exodus, in the desert, God lived in a tent among the people (Ex 25:8), then in the Temple. Now, the tent in which God dwells with us is Jesus, Jesus present on our altars and in our tabernacles. Jesus comes there to reveal to us the extent of God’s love and his willingness, no eagerness, to share his life with us.

How will you live as a true child of God’s family today?

Let Us Pray:

O loving God, help me to appreciate what it means to be called your child. May I always cherish that privilege and never disappoint you by behaving as if I did not realize my dignity.


Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)


About Paul J. Bernier, SSS

Blessed Sacrament Father Paul J. Bernier served for many years as the editor of Emmanuel. He is a popular writer, preacher, and director of retreats. Among his many published works is Ministry in the Church: A Historical and Pastoral Approach, Second Edition, published by Orbis Books in 2015.