John 1 1-5, 9-14

The Word was first, the Word present to God, God present to the Word. The Word was God, in readiness for God from day one.

Everything was created through him; nothing— not one thing!— came into being without him. What came into existence was Life, and the Life was Light to live by. The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn’t put it out.

The Life-Light was the real thing: Every person entering Life he brings into Light. He was in the world, the world was there through him, and yet the world didn’t even notice.

He came to his own people, but they didn’t want him.
But whoever did want him, who believed he was who he claimed and would do what he said,
He made to be their true selves, their child-of-God selves.
These are the God-begotten, not blood-begotten, not flesh-begotten, not sex-begotten.

The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out, true from start to finish.

Gospel Reflection

The crib gives us one perspective on Jesus: on a human scale, easy to imagine and love. The Fourth Gospel gives us a cosmic perspective: Jesus as the power and intelligence with which God created and sustains the world, existing before time and space. Jesus is the Logos, the word, the source of life, which is the light of all people.

John’s Gospel opens with a Prologue, a hymn that sums up John’s view of who Jesus was. John asserts, in opposition to the synagogue leaders, that Jesus was a divine being. In trying to explain what he meant, he drew on ideas from the Old Testament that spoke of God’s Word, or God’s Wisdom, present to God before the world was created. God’s Wisdom was ‘the fashioner of all things.’ (Wisdom 7:22) From John’s point of view, Jesus was God’s Word spoken to the people of Israel.

At his birth, Jesus was truly God, but he no longer knew it. In the same way, each of us is born male or female -objective fact – but it take us a long time to grasp even a hazy understanding of what that means. So it was with Jesus. Just as with each one of us, his lifetime was a series of new insights into who he was.