Gospel Reflection Saturday – 7th day in the Octave of Christmas (31 December) – The Word
Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of John (1: 1-18) in which says ‘In the beginning was the Word, 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’.
Fr Paul says the Prologue of St John, which we hear today, has a special place in Christian theology, and for centuries was actually recited at the end of the Mass as summing up the whole work of redemption.
It begins with God’s creation by the Word and ends with the completion of the purpose of creation through the grace and truth of Jesus Christ. In the centre comes the incarnation, which enables and invites those who accept Christ to become children of God.
The Gospel story of Mark begins at the baptism of Jesus, and the voice from heaven declaring that he is God’s son. Matthew and Luke have added the infancy stories to show that Jesus possessed and manifested these divine qualities right from his birth. John goes back beyond this, to meditate on the ultimate part in both creation and its fulfilment of the Word who became flesh. Perhaps the most exultant cry of all is ‘we have seen his glory’, for glory belongs rightly to God alone.
This statement contains the paradox that Christ as a human being made visible this divine glory, and that it was his own glory, witnessed by the followers among whom he lived and moved.
This Gospel and reflection today brings to an end the Octave of Christmas and it is also New Year’s Eve. As we come to this weekend, and mindful of this Gospel, Fr Paul invites us to reflect on how we can allow the Word to be part of our lives in the New Year.