The Gospel Today
The Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things came to be through him,
and without him nothing came to be.
What came to be through him was life,
and this life was the light of the human race;
the light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.
A man named John was sent from God.
He came for testimony, to testify to the light,
so that all might believe through him.
He was not the light,
but came to testify to the light.
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
He was in the world,
and the world came to be through him,
but the world did not know him.
He came to what was his own,
but his own people did not accept him.
But to those who did accept him
he gave power to become children of God,
to those who believe in his name,
who were born not by natural generation
nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision
but of God.
And the Word became flesh
and made his dwelling among us,
and we saw his glory,
the glory as of the Father’s only-begotten Son,
full of grace and truth.
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.’”
From his fullness we have all received,
grace in place of grace,
because while the law was given through Moses,
grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
No one has ever seen God.
The only-begotten Son, God, who is at the Father’s side,
has revealed him.
The Paschal Mystery – Christ’s passion, death and resurrection is the summit of Jesus’ redemptive act. However, salvation history stretches to the entire life of Jesus Christ and even before His earthly existence. If Jesus was not born, then there would have been no paschal mystery. Thus, the beginning is equally important as the end.
What is there in the beginning? The Gospel describes the intimate relationship between God the Father and God the Son. The Word – the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity emptied Himself of His glory, entered human history, in a humble and ordinary way. To be separated from His eternal abode and being born as a helpless child, subject to natural and human law, is something unthinkable for God to do. But God in His infinite love offered His only Son that through Him we will gain access to His eternal kingdom.
How about you? What is your beginning? Are you still rooted from your beginning? Can you truly identify yourself with your beginning and acknowledge it whole-heartedly? Whatever your beginning is, you are reminded to know and value where you came from.
Sometimes it is easy to acknowledge and be proud of our roots when they are worth praising in the eyes of the world. But many times, we would conceal or hide them especially when they are degrading to our present identity and status. As much as possible, we would like to avoid those that can tarnish our good name and reputation.
We are the product of our past and what we are now is something that we have to be grateful for. Whether our past is worth remembering or not, in a wider perspective it has a purpose. The challenge for us is not to recreate the past but to learn from it and hopefully to emerge as a better person for the service of God’s people. Christ gave us the example that our past is not a hindrance in serving and loving others. It may be difficult but it is not impossible.