A reading from the gospel according to John 1:1-18
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was in the beginning with God.
3 All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be.
What came to be
4 through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race;
5 the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
6 A man named John was sent from God.
7 He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him.
8 He was not the light, but came to testify to the light.
9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world came to be through him, but the world did not know him.
11 He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him.
12 But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name,
13 who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision but of God.
14 And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.
15 John testified to him and cried out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’”
16 From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace,
17 because while the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
18 No one has ever seen God. The only Son, God, who is at the Father’s side, has revealed him.
Reflection: Life, Light and Love
The evangelist John connected his gospel with Genesis chapter 1 – in the beginning. The “Word” as mentioned in the first verse is identified with the Greek word logos which refers to Jesus Christ Himself. He was with God in the beginning and He is God. Together with the Holy Spirit, they form the Trinity. In Him and through Him, everything was created including life. Thus, when Jesus claimed that He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6), He is telling us that without Him, we cannot live a single second.
On the other hand, the word witness refers to John the Baptist. He was born to testify to the light which means he was not the light. The light is Jesus Himself – the one who will banish away darkness which means darkness will never overcome the light. That is why Jesus is our hope because in Him and through Him, we shall overcome the forces of darkness.
Jesus therefore is our only source of life and light yet many people, His own creature, do not accept Him as such. When we commit sin, we are in a way rejecting his offer of life and light. When we consciously choose to reject Him, we are in fact choosing to live in darkness. Yet His love for us remains. This is the reason why we have the incarnate Word, the Word that became flesh, because He cannot afford to lose us – His very own creature. He came to dwell among us and eventually to die for us that we might have life and life in abundance (John 10:10).
Clearly, the gospel reading above is a brief introduction or a summary of the whole gospel – the story of life, light and love. Like John the Baptist, let us bear testimony to this awesome truth of the incarnation – the Word made flesh which is actually the real reason why we celebrate Christmas.
Every now and then, let us have time to reflect on what had happened to our life and to the world. Many people experience a lot of heartbreaks. The Covid-19 pandemic caused untold damage to life and livelihood. Although the vaccination of millions of people resulted in the significant decrease of cases, the emergence of new variants raises new reasons for anxiety among the people and some governments around the world may re-impose travel restrictions.
Yet the hope for an end to this pandemic is still flickering. The fact that we are still alive as of the moment is enough reason to be grateful, hopeful and joyful. As the gospel reading speaks of grace, of fullness and of light, we rejoice because God has been gracious to us. Through the birth of His only Son our savior, He has shown how much He love and care for us. Indeed, we did not choose to be born but God decided to grant us life and life in its abundance (John 10:10).
We look forward to a new beginning with so much hope. The Word of redemption has become flesh and He is now dwelling in us and among us. By following His commandments of love, justice and forgiveness, we make this indwelling of the King of kings visible to others. In the end, the Kingdom of heaven will prevail.