Gospel Reflection Dec 25 – Deacon Steve
Sunday, December 25
The Nativity of the Lord
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 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.
Depending on which Mass we attend, we will hear one of four Gospel readings as we celebrate the Nativity of the Lord. At the Vigil Mass, Matthew tells of the proclamation of the genealogy of Jesus Christ and the coming of an angel to St. Joseph. At Midnight Mass, Luke recounts Christ’s birth in a manger and the appearance of an angel to the shepherds as they tended their flock in the night. At the dawn of Christmas day, we continue in Luke’s Gospel as the shepherds journeyed to Bethlehem to meet the Infant Jesus; and Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. Finally, at Christmas Mass during the day, the prologue of the Gospel of John reminds us that Christ is the eternal Son of God who, while remaining fully God, became fully human.
Together, the Gospels proclaim the birth of the Lord, who, in worldly terms, came as a powerless, vulnerable, and unimportant infant, born of humble parents in an unimportant place in less-than-ideal circumstances. Yet, even as a humble, vulnerable infant, Christ is still also fully God, upon whom everything depends and upon whom we depend for everything.
There is a strength in vulnerability and smallness, and profound hope in the potentiality and emergence of new life. May the infant Jesus show us the way to our own vulnerability, bring forth a new birth of faith in our hearts, and allow our weakness and humility to witness God’s glory.
Merry Christmas! May God bless you and your families with safety, health, peace, and joy.
Deacon Steve Petrill