The Eternal Word Becomes Flesh

Friday, December 31, 2021
Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas
Readings for Today

Saint Sylvester I, Pope—Optional Memorial


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.

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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Featured image above: The Adoration of the Shepherds By Giorgione, via Wikimedia Commons

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