The Second Sunday after Christmas – 3 January 2021
Lectionary Readings: Sir.24:1-2, 8-12; Ps.147; Eph.1:3-6, 15-18; Jn. 1:1-18.
Theme: And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
In John’s Gospel, we are the privileged audience, invited to know the mystery of the person of Jesus. The opening lines set the stage for the most incredible story to unfold before us. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (1:1-3). “The Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.” (1:14)
John’s intention is that we, the readers, will come to know who Jesus really is. He is God’s Word and God’s Word has dwelt upon the earth. This is the Good News! John gives us a glimpse into the eternal origin and divine nature of Jesus. Presuming that we are familiar with the events of Jesus’ life, he focuses rather on his identity. “A divine being (God’s Word) (1:1), who is also the light (1:5) comes into the world and becomes flesh…..he empowers all who do accept him to become God’s children so that they share in God’s fullness – gift reflecting God’s enduring love.” (Brown, 338)
In the book of Genesis, God speaks and that Word brings man to life; in the prologue, the Word of God brings eternal life to humanity. John refers to Jesus as the logos because he was a living Word from God, sent to reveal God and God’s Kingdom to us. The conviction of John is that once a person understands who Jesus is, there will be a change within and a new direction for one’s life will flow from that experience. His concern, therefore, rests with the disciple, the one who hears the message and is transformed by it.
Jesus alone reveals the Father (8:38) and shares intimacy with God. Through Jesus, God becomes visible and tangible to us. John’s prologue closely resembles the hymn found in the letter to the Philippians, “Let this same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who though he was in the form of God did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited but emptied himself taking the form of a servant.” (2:5-7)
In this hymn, there is the astonishing claim that the one whom we call God and Lord is revealed in the crucified one. (2:8) Here Paul presents Jesus, not as a passive victim but one who fully and willingly enters into his mission. For Paul, the life of the community would be formed by each taking on the mind of Christ in humble and loving service.
Paul continues this thought in the letter to the Colossians 1:15-20, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.” All that Jesus did in his healing and teaching was the embodiment of God’s revelation, the Word.
All the events that are narrated in the Gospels have only one purpose, to convince the reader that Jesus is God’s Son and sent by God out of love for the world. In this Gospel, John wants to convey to the reader and the believer to personally take hold of this good news that is Jesus himself. (20:31)
For Reflection and Discussion: 1.How can I take in this great truth that God so loved the world that God sent his Son, Jesus to come and dwell among us? 2. Am I a true disciple of Jesus, one who hears God’s word and is transformed by it?
Bibliography: McKenzie, J.L. Dictionary of the Bible (New York: 1965), Brown, Raymond E. An Introduction to the New Testament (Doubleday, New York, 1997).
This week’s Sunday Liturgy Commentary was prepared by
Rita Kammermayer, BA, B.ED, Masters of Pastoral Studies