God’s Light Has Appeared
The Gospel for the daytime Christmas Mass is one of the most solemn texts of Holy Scripture: the so-called Prologue of John’s Gospel. They are words that announce in stately language a mystery, the original mystery of the world; they are words illuminating the origin, meaning, and goal of everything.
John’s words announce that “In the beginning was the Word”. Beginning, as it is used here, means the original source from which everything comes. God himself is this origin, and everything that exists has his mighty creative Word to thank for its existence.
John speaks of the Word being God’s light. And this light enlightens everyone. The Word of God is, in this way, very near to every person. In the heart of every person there is this light, this spark of light, that always lights up when we understand something, when something “en-lightens” us. Christ is this light. He is the light that has always enlightened every person who sincerely seeks the true and the good.
And John says that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. He came as a man to be our Savior and yet his light is not yet known to all. The light also meets with the resistance of darkness. Light and darkness are engaged in battle and have been at all times and in the heart of every person. The battle between light and darkness, however, was not to remain a draw and this is why God sent his light, his Word into the world. Many artists portray the child Jesus in such a way that all light radiates from him. God’s original light shines for us in Jesus.
Light. Word. In the beginning. Word made flesh. We will have plenty of time to reflect on Jesus’ teachings and mission. But before we do, Christmas is a great time to reflect on and be in awe of Jesus’ identity and the Father’s design. Take the time to read this gospel, even aloud, if you can, at Christmas.