1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
Reflection, by Fr Aldo, sx
What is a word? A word is something used for communication. What we have in our minds and in our hearts can reach the minds and hearts of others through words. John reveals to us that Jesus is the Word of God the Father. God cannot say to us that he loves us because God has no mouth. That’s why he sends Jesus to be his word to us. Jesus is the word that became flesh, became one like us, spoke our language, told us who the Father is and who we are for him and told us also what is the plan of God for us.
If we want to know God, we do not need to get into some highly philosophical reasoning or make supernatural mental exercises. All that is needed is to contemplate Christ, to observe what he did, what he said, what he taught, how he behaved, whom he loved, who he preferred, whom he journeyed with, with whom he dined, whom he welcome, who he reprimanded, who he defend… That is the way the Father proceeds.
Nobody has ever seen God. Yet he can be found, heard and touched in the person of Jesus. He makes the Father visible. The incarnation of God means that God loves us, he loves the world and freely chose to remain in our company in the world. God does not condemn any one, he only saves.
Imagine that a very rich young man likes a group of people who live in a very depressed urban poor area. One day he decides to abandon everything that he has: planes, cars, brand-named clothes, excellent food, palaces and employees and goes to live with the poor he likes. He makes a small shanty out of some scrap material and stays with the people he loves. He learns their language and adjusts himself to the way of the poor, without soap, no gas, no nice clothes, no medicine and little food… What can we say of an act like that? A great act of love, to say the least.
The Gospel of today says that “the Word became Flesh and came to live among us.” An even better translation would say that “He build a tent and came to dwell among us.” If God loves us so much, why is it that people do not love each other? Why do they kill each other? Why do they hate each other? Those who behave in such way simply show that they understood nothing of what the father wanted to teach us when he sent his Son.
The Word came like a light in the darkness. From among a people immersed in sin, there surges a new person, a new humanity. But this light was not peacefully welcomed by the world. In fact, the forces of darkness not only exist until now, but they are very strong. The light has not been able to defeat the darkness, but darkness also is unable to put the light off, and so, the battle goes on until the end. But we know already who will be the winner in the end: victory has been assured to us through the resurrection of Christ.
Merry Christmas to all!