God among us
Gospel Reflection for the Second Sunday of Christmas – January 5th 2014
Full scripture for this Sunday is available on the Catholic Ireland website. Daily Scripture is also available. Our parish Prayers of the Faithful for this Sunday are made available on the Dublin Diocesan website.
In the beginning was the Word:
and the Word was with God
and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things came to be,
not one thing had its being but through him.
All that came to be had life in him
and that life was the light of men,
a light that shines in the dark,
a light that darkness could not overpower
A man came, sent by God.
His name was John.
He came as a witness,
as a witness to speak for the light,
so that everyone might believe through him.
He was not the light,
only a witness to speak for the light.
The Word was the true light
that enlightens all men;
and he was coming into the world.
He was in the world
that had its being through him,
and the world did not know him.
He came to his own domain
and his own people did not accept him.
But to all who did accept him
he gave power to become children of God,
to all who believe in the name of him
who was born not out of human stock
or urge of the flesh
or will of man
but of God himself.
The Word was made flesh, he lived among us,
and we saw his glory,
the glory that is his
as the only Son of the Father,
full of grace and truth.
John appears as his witness. He proclaims:
‘This is the one of whom I said:
He who comes after me ranks before me
because he existed before me’
Indeed, from his fulness we have, all of us, received –
yes, grace in return for grace,
since, though the Law was given through Moses,
grace and truth have come through Jesus Christ.
No one has ever seen God;
it is the only Son, who is nearest to the Father’s heart,
who has made him known.
Would you expect to find glory in the crib? It is there in the human and the divine love of the crib. Angels sing of glory to God… this is the biggest thing that ever happened the world. God among us, the word made flesh! Love has come among us in a way never before.
As the gospel of John goes on there is another sense of that glory. Glory means not just angels and bright light – it is the love of God and then our love.
Because Jesus comes with the love of God, he makes a difference, calling us to be a community of people who find in their faith and humanity the motives to care for each other at bad times.
That’s all part of the crib. The wish of God our creator is for a world where people are cherished and human rights are respected. When we need a culture and way of life where the rights of all especially the poor are met. When we see a child in the crib, we know that this love is for all. Love is in this child, the love of God and call to love and you can’t argue with love which was later killed on the cross. This child is for the world, and his life and ministry will bring compassion to us and danger to him.
Donal Neary SJ