The Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas
December 31, 2020
1 John 2:18-21; Psalm 96:1-2, 11-12, 13; John 1:1-18
We all understand that Jesus was fully human and fully divine. In the synoptic gospels we are given his human genealogy, but in John’s gospel we are given his divine genealogy. Origen of Alexandria, one of our early Church Fathers says of John’s gospel:
“…none of the other Gospels manifested Jesus’ divinity as fully as John when he presented him saying, ‘I am the light of the world’, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life’, ‘I am the resurrection’, ‘I am the door’, ‘I am the good shepherd’.”
In his reflection on today’s Gospel, Bishop Barron tells us that it “comes to its climax with the magnificent phrase: And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”
Bishop Barron goes on to reflect that unlike the heresy of Gnosticism, which holds that material existence is flawed or evil, authentic Christianity knows that the Word of God took to himself a human nature and thereby elevated all of matter and made it a sacrament of the divine presence.
In Christ our material world is redeemed and divinized. In baptism we become members of the body of Christ and we are sealed with the promise that our material bodies will rise and be glorified when he returns.
Our world, our flesh, was created by God through the eternal Word, Jesus Christ. As God’s creation we know that the material world can not be anything but good. Although fallen by the curse of original sin, it’s goodness has been redeemed by Christ, who perfectly joined his very divinity to our humanity.
We must never cease to prayerfully ponder and proclaim the wonder of the Incarnation. Gaudium et Spes, the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, promulgated by his holiness, Pope Paul VI in 1965 tells us:
“The Son of God assumed a human nature in order to accomplish our salvation in it. The Son of God …worked with human hands; he thought with a human mind. He acted with a human will, and with a human heart he loved. Born of the Virgin Mary, he has truly been made one of us, like to us in all things except sin.”
Jesus became the partaker of our humanity so we could be partakers of his divinity. God’s purpose for us, even from the beginning of his creation, is that we would be fully united with him. When Jesus comes, God is made known as the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. By our being united in Jesus, God becomes our Father and we become his adopted sons and daughters. In Christ our humanity is divinized, elevated and glorified as members of his body.
Dear friends in Christ, THIS is the Good News of our salvation! Let our New Year’s resolution be that we may always be prepared to share this good news with our family, friends and acquaintances, through both our words and our actions. Let us draw the strength we need to do this from our worthy reception of the Holy Eucharist, the visible sign of Christ’s presence in our midst today.
God bless you.