End and Beginning

December 31, 2016
The Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas
The Gospel Today
John 1:1-18

In the beginning was the Word,
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.

REFLECTION (Sem. Randy D. Buquis)

Today we end the calendar year, but if we notice the Gospel proclamation says: “In the beginning”. A year may end but there is a new beginning for all of us. In the prologue of John’s Gospel he emphasizes the divinity of Jesus. Through Jesus he brings us the mind, heart, and plan of God. The Father works in us through his Son Jesus. It is now good to ask ourselves how we can bring Jesus in our own hearts, minds, and lives.

The Gospel today invites and urges us to accept Jesus that we may become children of God. As we end the calendar year, it is good to have a new start for all of us. We may spend this last day of the year in praise and thanksgiving and we can begin with joy and hope in our hearts.

This day can be an avenue for us to begin our life with Jesus. This is also a good reminder for all of us that God is always giving us a new day for change, conversion, and commitment. He is just waiting to bring us back to Him despite the many challenges we may experience in our lives. I remember my godfather has shared to us that going to Mass can bring him to a new experience in his everyday living. There is a feeling of lightness of heart every time he attends the Mass as compared to just being busy in his work. My Auntie says that she is thankful because my presence brings her son to the Church, although I insist that is because of Jesus’ presence in that Eucharistic celebration. Maybe this is also a good reminder for us seminarians that our identity can bring a difference to others. We should be reminded that our vocation is a grace from God and all credit should be given to Him.

Bringing Jesus in our hearts, minds, and lives does not need to be gigantic but must be done with sincerity and consistency. If we are sincere we are able to do things wholeheartedly and not for the sake of compliance. If we are consistent, it must become our way of life, done daily.

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