December 25, 2012
Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)
John 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 into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being with him was life, and the life was the light of all people.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he 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 into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. And 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.
(John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’”) From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Significance and Obscurity
One of the greatest wonders of the feast we celebrate today is the fact that an event of such great significance took place in almost total obscurity. Just think: the most momentous event in our history—the incarnation of God as a human person—took place in an insignificant country, completely unobserved by the powers of the world at that time. While nations and economic leaders went about their business of directing the world, the world’s true governor was born in their midst.
The most momentous events often go unnoticed when they take place. But they produce world-altering consequences in their wakes. So it is with the daily conversions which take place in our souls. The internal struggle that takes place within us often goes unnoticed by those around us. God’s attempt to speak to our souls and draw them toward Himself is like a “Little Bethlehem.”
There, in the quiet of our souls, the most momentous events transpire. While others may not be aware of these moments of conversion within our hearts, they definitely experience the effects as the Gospel takes root and transforms the ways we live. May the Spirit of Christ dwell richly within our hearts this Christmas!
—Fr. Kevin Dyer, S.J
A Christmas Prayer
For a moment we are there, too.
The baby, so precious, so vulnerable
Stares at us with a knowing look.
And stares beyond us
Past the foreboding cross.
Obscurity, the silence of night
Peace and good will
The background lullaby.
Mary and Joseph lean upon each other.
A doting shepherd, a humbled king
Touch the infant’s face.
Now it’s our turn.
We touch the face of God.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
Please share the Good Word with your friends!