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 into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he 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 into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. 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 or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, ‘This was he of whom I said, “He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.” ’) From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known. (John 1:1-18)
At Christmas we pray that the blessings of the Christ Child will be with all we meet. We gather to celebrate the birth of Christ our Savior. He is the Eternal Word Who entered into our world and took to Himself our humanity. In the stillness of the night the shepherds heard the angels proclaim the birth of the Light of the World Who came into the world to free those who were in bondage and darkness. Christmas is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad because God has come to dwell among us. On Christmas we are invited to lay our burdens down at the foot of the manger and take into our arms the Lord Who came to us as a helpless infant so we could love Him.
The Prologue to the Gospel of Saint John does not recount the birth scene in Bethlehem. Unlike the other Christmas Gospels, this passage seldom makes it into music. There is no mention of herald angels singing, no shepherds watching, no cattle lowing, no stars brightly shining, no little town of Bethlehem, no swaddling clothes, and no Mary and Joseph. Despite the lack of these customary details, the text tells us the reason for the season. On Christmas, we are celebrating the mystery of the Eternal Word becoming a wordless infant so that we might learn the language of love. No longer speaking through emissaries, God utters His ultimate word. The heavens have been thrown open and the Light of the Nations has manifested the salvation of our God. The innocence of the newborn Savior has touched the hearts of men and women throughout the world and shown them how to love.
Even though many did not and do not accept Him, the light of Christ shines out as a beacon of hope for all who find themselves trapped in darkness and sin. On Christmas, the Lord whom heaven and earth cannot contain, came forth from Mary’s virginal womb. His birth was proclaimed by the angelic hosts and the stars of heaven. The announcement was too great to be contained or silenced. Christ is born to us and all creation declares the presence of the Word made Flesh in our midst. The birth of the Prince of Peace makes known to all people of good will the path to peace and reconciliation. God became man so that the children of Adam and Eve might be remade in the image of God.
The people who lived in darkness have learned to walk in the Light. The Word that first called creation into existence today calls all of the children of Adam and Eve to newness of life. The birth of the Light of the World has scattered the darkness that shrouded the world and has given us reason to rejoice and be glad. Overcome by the joy of this day, our whole being becomes a proclamation of the Good News. One who rejoices cannot contain the gladness he encounters. Rejoicing gives evidence of our integral relationships with God and all the members of the human race.
We have reason to rejoice because Christ has brought the light of glory into our world. The Light of Christ shines upon us and enables us to overcome our own darkness. The Light of Christ floods the darkness of our lives; it shines on the margins and places that seem totally devoid of joy and happiness. The birth of Christ has broken down all barriers that separate the human race from God. In times past, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets. In our time, the Word He spoke took flesh and was incarnate by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit. Let us raise our voices and sing the hymn of the new creation. We sing this hymn so that the world may believe in Christ and lay claim to their birthright as heirs of the Kingdom. God loves us so much that He chose to become one of us and by so doing made possible our eternal happiness. Let us dance and sing and announce the birth of Our King.
My brothers and sisters, the Son of God has been given to us. Let the holy infant capture your heart. Allow Him to draw you nearer to the Father's heart. Today we rejoice for the One who is among us now, enabling us to live his life of compassion and kindness towards the least. He has commanded us to love one another, has made it possible for us because, “From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace….” Let us live the newness of life He has brought us and not only sing the Good News that has appeared for us but become living gospels for all we meet.