The Nativity of our Lord – 25 December (B)


Commentary on Isaiah 52:7-10; Hebrews 1:1-6; John 1:1-18

SOME MAY FIND IT STRANGE that there is no direct mention of Christmas in the readings today. At last night’s Mass we recalled the story of Jesus’ birth. The theme of today’s Mass is the real identity of this helpless little baby in the manger. “What child is this, who laid to rest, on Mary’s lap is sleeping?” This baby is the Word of God. In his inner being he is with God and is God.
Word
God expresses his self through his Word, just as we do. Our words can often be wild, superficial and meaningless but God’s word is active, creative, as ours also can be: Michelangelo, Shakespeare, Beethoven, great architects and painters… They create, make new things and move us. Through God’s Word everything came into being. The Infant is surrounded by his own creation.
Light
The Word is light. Christmas is a winter feast, when days are darkest but beginning to get longer. So it is very much a feast of hope.
The Word is light. Jesus is the Light of the World. We too are called to be the light of the world, a candle shining in darkness.
Rejected
He came to his own, those he had made and especially those he had called as his own people and showered with his blessings and they rejected him.
Flesh
The Word was made “flesh” (sarx, ). Not just a human but someone totally immersed in our world. He mixes with sinners and eats with them. This starts with the birth itself. He is far from home, constrained to use an animals’ feeding box as his bed. He is visited by marginalised people and outcasts – the shepherds. He will soon be a refugee, on the run, threatened by violence.
Liberation
All this is part of a process of liberation. He came to liberate people, to lead them out of their poverty, their rejection, their marginalisation, from being victims of oppression, exploitation, violence and abuse. He came to heal individuals and societies and make them whole.
Let us pray today for our own en-light-enment, our liberation, our co-creativity with the Word of God.

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