On this, the Second Sunday of Christmas, we have an opportunity to consider the words of St John.
At the heart of the Gospel are the words:
“The Word was made flesh, he lived among us,
and we saw his glory…”
The touching scenes at the crib this Christmas, and the churches decorated for the season, all point towards a joy that is ours. They are effects, only; trimmings, of sorts. The reality of what we celebrate this Christmas is the Word made flesh, and this is a difficult reality to grasp.
The decorated cribs help us, and the carols and our beautiful liturgies. Yet, we find the real road to love incarnate only through a strong desire to live in Christ’s image, to emulate him. It is what we as Christians strive for.
The Gospel says: “…and we saw his glory.” This glory, when we see it, can elude our eyes, our grasp. We do not always recognize the glory of God. In truth, the glory of God is the crib. Humility and stillness, without pomp and grandeur, without the need for self glorification. The crib is a sign for us towards our path.
We humans have always possessed a tendency for pomp and grandeur. The crib reminds us, however, that to see the glory of God is a thing that we find very difficult. Whilst we are looking for human kinds of grandeur, Christ comes into the world in a way that we miss. We walk past the lowly manger on our mission for wealth and power. We ignore the humble crib as we search for recognition and human comfort. Yet, all the time we have before us the glory of God, inviting us to reset ourselves into a new kind of life. This new life is loud and true in the Gospel accounts, and it is the life of Christ, the life of humility and fraternal charity.
May we, in 2022, strive ever more for God’s glory and never walk past the lowly crib in search of worldly success.
The Lord be with you.
And with your spirit
A reading from the Gospel according to John 1-1-18
Glory to you, O Lord
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.
The Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.