2nd Sunday of Christmas – 3 January 2016

"Christmas is for keeps"

Scripture Reading – John 1:1-18

In the beginning was the Word:
and the Word was with God
and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things came to be,
not one thing had its being but through him.
All that came to be had life in him
and that life was the light of men,
a light that shines in the dark,
a light that darkness could not overpower.

A man came, sent by God.
His name was John.
He came as a witness,
as a witness to speak for the light,
so that everyone might believe through him.
He was not the light,
only a witness to speak for the light.

The Word was the true light
that enlightens all men;
and he was coming into the world.
He was in the world
that had its being through him,
and the world did not know him.
He came to his own domain
and his own people did not accept him.
But to all who did accept him
he gave power to become children of God,
to all who believe in the name of him
who was born not out of human stock
or urge of the flesh
or will of man
but of God himself.

The Word was made flesh,
he lived among us,
and we saw his glory,
the glory that is his as the only Son of the Father,
full of grace and truth.

John appears as his witness. He proclaims:
‘This is the one of whom I said:
He who comes after me ranks before me
because he existed before me.’

Indeed, from his fullness we have, all of us, received –
yes, grace in return for grace,
since, though the Law was given through Moses,
grace and truth have come through Jesus Christ.
No one has ever seen God;
it is the only Son, who is nearest to the Father’s heart,
who has made him known.

Gospel reading – Courtesy of Universalis Publishing Ltd. – www.universalis.com

REFLECTION

“Be loyal to your family”

by Sr Máire O’Bryne FMA

Over the past few weeks many have been complaining of all the work and fuss involved in preparing for Christmas that only lasts one day. This may be true of the commercial side of the celebration, but the real Christmas is for keeps. This is the message that the readings of today bring home. The Gospel tells us that “The Word became flesh and He dwelt among us”, that is God became one of us, taking on both the beauty and the weakness of our humanity, and he intends to stay, to dwell, with us. The first reading says the same about “Wisdom”, which is a feminine title for the Spirit of God in the Jewish Scriptures. We read that Wisdom was invited to establish her tent among the chosen people. As a result, Paul tells us in the second reading, we are now God’s adopted children.

What does this mean in practice? It means that God was so in love with humanity that God wanted to be one of us, and forever. Jesus became human, and he still is one of us. If we take this as seriously as Jesus does, it means that everything in our world is sacred, nothing or no-one is a stranger to God. Since God stole into our world as a baby like any other everything has become part of God’s life. But we need to “stop and stare”. We need our eyes to be enlightened by the light that Jesus brought. Then we understand that: “Each tiny act is an extraordinary event in which heaven is given to us, in which we can give heaven to others. Whatever it is – the telephone that rings, the bus that is late, the headache or toothache, the conversations that spring up, the knock on the door – they are all the outer shell (the sacrament) of an amazing inner reality, the soul’s encounter with God’s beautiful grace”. (Madeleine Debriel, We ordinary people of the Streets).

In the light of today’s readings we can say, as Daniel O’Leary puts it, “Since Christmas, there is nothing too big or too small in our blessed and broken humanity to be revealed every Sunday as Real Presence” (Unmasking God, p. 125).

In this new year of 2016, may everyday be Christmas for us.

PRAYER

Almighty, ever-living God, light of every faithful soul,
fill the world with your glory
and reveal to all nations the splendour of your presence.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

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Music:
“Skye Cuillin” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 – http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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