DEC. 31. NEW YEARS EVE. JN. 1. 1-18
In the beginning was the Word: and the Word was with God and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things came to be, not one thing had its being but through him. All that came to be had life in him and that life was the light of men, a light that shines in the dark, a light that darkness could not overpower.
A man came, sent by God. His name was John. He came as a witness, as a witness to speak for the light, so that everyone might believe through him. He was not the light, only a witness to speak for the light.
The Word was the true light that enlightens all men; and he was coming into the world.
He was in the world that had its being through him, and the world did not know him.
He came to his own domain and his own people did not accept him. But to all who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to all who believe in the name of him who was born not out of human stock or urge of the flesh or will of man but of God himself.
The Word was made flesh, he lived among us, and we saw his glory, the glory that is his as the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.
John appears as his witness. He proclaims:
‘This is the one of whom I said:
He who comes after me ranks before me
because he existed before me.’
Indeed, from his fullness we have, all of us, received – yes, grace in return for grace,
since, though the Law was given through Moses, grace and truth have come through Jesus Christ.
No one has ever seen God; it is the only Son, who is nearest to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.
What a beautiful and appropriate reading for the end of year, with Christ being proclaimed as the one who “makes God known” to us and who is “with God, from God, and ‘is God’”. But then, in addition, we are also being told: “All who accept him are given the power to become “Children of God”.
This reading amounts to an invitation to (1). acknowledge Christ as both God and the Son of God. (2). To learn from him. (3) To become one with him; - and so become “a child of God!”
There is a danger however, for those trying to live a spiritual life, that this divine invitation will become so familiar to us we will lose sight of the enormity of both the gift and the invitation our Faith contains.
Today’s alleluia verse highlights the challenge and invitation being put before us at the start of the new year; - to accept Christ and his teachings: - “The Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us. - He enabled those who accept him to become Children of God”.