by Fr. Bill Hubmann, C.PP.S.
IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD, AND THE WORD WAS WITH GOD, AND THE WORD WAS GOD…ALL THINGS CAME TO BE THROUGH HIM…THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH AND DWELT AMONG US…WE HAVE SEEN HIS GLORY…HE HAS GIVEN TO US THE POWER TO BECOME CHILDREN OF GOD.
On Christmas Day we celebrate Jesus Christ who comes in mystery and history. In Jesus Christ the distant, unknowable, invisible, unreachable God has come to us; and God can never be a stranger to us again.
The Word made Flesh who dwells among us reveals the very face of God. The Word made Flesh is the true light that leads out of darkness and life that fills us with the Spirit. Jesus is the Bread come down from heaven, that we may eat and never die.
John the Evangelist is the quintessential “child of wonder” He is the “beloved disciple” called by Jesus when he was a mere boy, he journeyed with Jesus, listened to his words, beheld his signs and wonders, he rested his head on Jesus at the Last Supper, he remembers for us that God is Light and Life and Love and grace and truth and peace and joy. John stood beneath the cross as Jesus died. Jesus becomes for him the source, the fountain of sacramental life in the Church. Christ the Living Bread is present to us in word and sacrament.
Like a little boy with a jarful of fireflies, John delights in the intimate friendship he has with Jesus. And John wants to share the joy of his intimate friendship with us.
It is believed that John borrowed and adapted the Hymn to the Logos from some ancient gnostic Jewish or Greek source.
The Book of Genesis begins Bereshith bara Elohim. In the beginning God (creates) For the Jews the spoken word had power. It is not a great stretch for Jewish converts that the Logos is the word of God creating and the Logos could be the Messiah of God.
Like Genesis, John’s Gospel begins En arche en ho logos. In the beginning was the Word… In the Greek world, the Logos is the power of the gods that kept order in the universe, that ordered stars, the planets, the seasons, the days, and hours. It caused the seeds to sprout and grow. The logos was the mind of god maintaining all things in the world in order. God is an idea. It is difficult to believe in a “real” god, a god of flesh and blood.
The God who speaks brings into being all creation. The spoken word of God is the power to create, it is Light, Life, and Love. God speaking is “Jeshua” -God who saves. Emanuel, God with us. God, who no longer stands outside or far off, but God who enters mystically into every part and parcel of creation. The hand of God rests and a divine spark exists in every creature. Never divorced, never separated; always a part of and therefore always concerned about creation. And always concerned about that part of creation that most looks and ought to act like God-us, lowly human creatures that we are. The mighty God with us is concerned about us, and today we see his face. While it was thought that no one could look upon the face of God and live, we now see God face to face.
The care for all God has created, the care for all God sees, the care for everything God loves is our work now as God’s beloved children.
“The Word made Flesh who dwells among us” reveals to us today the very face of God. Like John, we are all “aflutter.”