Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 31.12.2021

FRIDAY IN THE OCTAVE OF CHRISTMAS YEAR C

FIRST READING
1ST JOHN 2: 18 – 21

Children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come; therefore we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out, that it might be plain that they all are not of us. But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all know. I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and know that no lie is of the truth.

The Word of the Lord.
 

RESPONSORIAL PSALM 
Psalm 96: 1 – 2, 11 – 13 (R.) 11a

R. Let the heavens rejoice and earth be glad. 
   
O sing a new song to the Lord;
sing to the LORD, all the earth.
O sing to the Lord; bless his name.
Proclaim his salvation day by day. R.

Let the heavens rejoice and earth be glad;
let the sea and all within it thunder praise.
Let the land and all it bears rejoice. R.

Then will all the trees of the wood shout for joy.
At the presence of the Lord, for he comes,
he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with justice;
he will govern the peoples with his truth. R.
 

ALLELUIA  
John 1: 14a, 12ac

Alleluia.
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. To all who received him he gave power to become children of God.
Alleluia.
 

GOSPEL
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 were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light. The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not. He came to his own home, and his own people received him not. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only-begotten Son from the Father. (John bore witness to him, and cried, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, for he was before me.”’) And from his fullness have we all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.

The Gospel of the Lord.

REFLECTION: The Eternal Word Becomes Flesh
Friday, December 31, 2021

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. (John 1:1–5)

On this, the seventh day of the Octave of Christmas, we are given a mystery. The mystery of the “Word.” It’s a language that is veiled and yet revealing at the same time. It presents Jesus to us as the “Word.” He is the Word who takes on flesh and is eternal, from “the beginning with God.” The passage goes on to say that the Word was God and that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

The term “Word,” given to Jesus in this passage, is a translation of the Greek word “Logos.” Logos means “plan,” “reason,” “logic.” It also can be understood as the spoken word. In this passage, it especially reveals to us that God “spoke” from eternity His perfect plan of salvation and this wisdom spoken is a Person. The Person is the Divine Son of God. Thus, when the Son “speaks” and when He is “spoken” by the Father, all things come to be.

Perhaps that’s quite confusing. In fact, this is partly the point. The point is that this beginning to John’s Gospel reveals to us that the action of God creating all things and ultimately fulfilling His wisdom through the Incarnation, the Son becoming flesh, is a mysterious plan far beyond what we could ever comprehend or fathom. We should see this mysterious language as a statement in and of itself. The statement is this: Seek to understand the mystery, but know that the mystery of Christmas and Creation is beyond you. But seek to understand and comprehend nonetheless.

Christmas should be a time of great joy and celebration. It should be a time in which we reflect upon the nativity of Christ the Lord. We should read the story, listen to Christmas music and not set that all aside until our Christmas season is over. But as we do all of that, we should always keep before us the fact that Christmas is a great mystery of faith.

Reflect, today, upon this language of St. John. “In the beginning was the Word…” “The Word was God…” “The Word became flesh…” Let yourself know, this day, that you do not fully know this mystery and as you face this reality, allow the Eternal Word to draw you in one step deeper as we continue to celebrate the glorious Octave of Christmas Day.

PRAYER:
Lord, Jesus, Eternal Word of the Father, I thank You for coming among us and for making Your eternal dwelling present to us. Thank You for the great mystery of Christmas. Help me to always celebrate this season with great joy and gratitude, and also with a sense of mystery. May I always realize that the mystery of Christmas will never be fully understood. May this mystery draw me closer each and every day so that I may fall more deeply in love with You, my eternal God. Jesus, I trust in You.

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