Dec 25 2020 Reflection
Friday 25 December 2020
First Reading: IS 52:7-10
All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
PS 98:1, 2-3, 3-4, 5-6
Second Reading: HEB 1:1-6
Gospel Reading: JN 1:1-18
Today’s Note: Friday of the Fourth Week of Advent
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 to be through him,
and without him nothing came to be.
What came to be through him was life,
and this life was the light of the human race;
the light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.
A man named John was sent from God.
He came for testimony, to testify to the light,
so that all might believe through him.
He was not the light,
but 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 to be through him,
but the world did not know him.
He came to what was his own,
but his own people did not accept him.
But to those who did accept him
he gave power to become children of God,
to those who believe in his name,
who were born not by natural generation
nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision
but of God.
And the Word became flesh
and made his dwelling among us,
and we saw his glory,
the glory as of the Father’s only Son,
full of grace and truth.
John testified to him and cried out, saying,
“This was he of whom I said,
‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me
because he existed before me.’”
From his fullness we have all received,
grace in place of grace,
because while the law was given through Moses,
grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
No one has ever seen God.
The only Son, God, who is at the Father’s side,
has revealed him.
They see directly, before their eyes, the Lord restoring Zion. (Isaiah 52:8)
Two thousand years ago, something beautiful and earth-shattering happened. The eternal Son of God entered the world as a baby. Angels rejoiced that day. Shepherds exulted. Joseph was in awe. And Mary was filled with adoration.
Yet for all that, anyone passing by the manger would have seen nothing more than a poor tradesman and his wife trying to make the best of a hard situation.
That’s the difference between the quick glance that comes from everyday “seeing” and the searching, penetrating vision that comes when God opens our hearts. One sees something ordinary and moves on, while the other senses Jesus’ presence and kneels in worship.
Today, more than any other day, we can imitate Mary and Joseph and the shepherds as they gazed on the infant in the manger. We can welcome Jesus as the Savior who came to redeem us, not to condemn us. We can embrace him as our Good Shepherd who has laid down his life for us. We can praise him as the King of kings and Lord of lords, who rules all creation from a cross of self-giving love.
Don’t miss this opportunity! Don’t let the demands or the excitement of the day reduce you to “ordinary” seeing. Don’t let the challenges of the present or the fear of the future or the pain of the past cloud your vision. Wherever you are and whatever you have to do, take some time alone to gaze at the sleeping Christ child. If it helps, use your nativity set. If you don’t have one, use the cover of this magazine! Whatever it takes, focus on Jesus and ask the Holy Spirit to help you see him.
Jesus has come to restore not only Zion but you and everyone around you. Come to him today, and let his promise of restoration fill you with hope and gratitude.
“O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord!”