Daily Gospel Reflection – The Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas
December 31, 2021
The Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas
Gospel: Jn 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.
*United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, today we reprise the prologue of St. John’s Gospel, which we read on Christmas. The Word became flesh "and we saw his glory." All the ways that the Old Testament spoke of God’s involvement with the world come together in this description of Jesus Christ. He is the powerful Word that will not return without accomplishing his purpose.
Now what is his purpose? Look to the prophet Isaiah. "The Lord has bared his holy arm in the sight of all the nations; all the ends of the earth can see the salvation of our God." Saying that Yahweh has bared his holy arm means that Yahweh is rolling up his sleeves to get on with the work.
Take a look now at the manger at Bethlehem. Perhaps we see a tiny arm reaching out at random from the manger. "The Lord has made bare his holy arm." And this anticipates another baring of that holy arm, when it is stretched out on the wood of the cross, revealed to all nations, just as Isaiah said. God’s power would be revealed in the powerlessness of love unto death. This is what became flesh on Christmas day.