January 4th 2015
FIRST READING: Ecclesiasticus: 24:1-2. 8-12
SECOND READING: Ephesians 1:3-6. 15-18
GOSPEL John 1: 1-5, 9-14
The Word was made flesh, and lived among
The Word of God ‘pitches his tent’ among us. The biblical tent is traditionally a place of meeting. The wisdom of God has come to enlighten us. It has ‘taken root in a privileged people’. The creator of all takes on the flesh of a created one. This is what marks out the Christian faith as different. We believe that our God revealed himself to us by coming to live among us. Without lessening his Godly nature, he took on our humanity and shared our human experience. No other faith describes a God who would stoop down to share in the life of mortals in such an intimate manner.
The Wisdom of God is shown to us in the person and the ministry of Jesus. What is and was eternal is born into time and made subject to the limitations of the created order. ‘He has not dealt thus with other nations, he has not taught them his decrees.’
This generosity (flaitheas) of God is to free us from the finality and the slavery of death. By taking on our human nature Jesus does not diminish himself or his nature but raises up our human nature to the dignity of the divine. Jesus takes back with him to the Trinity his dual nature. Our humanity is part of the nature of God.
We are given a choice – to believe in Christ as son of God or to reject his claims to be the Word made flesh. The choice is that of enlightenment by the Wisdom of God or the darkness of drifting into death or nothingness. We can, by accepting Christ, become children of God and adoptive sons and daughters or we can choose to trust in ourselves and in the promises of the world.
This is the choice posed by the Incarnation. These are the things our God has done for us. We have been empowered, enlightened, invited, and re-created. God has revealed to us his grace and truth. We have been promised a share in God’s glory because God chose to share in our humanity – promised life because he chose to share in our suffering and death – promised a place in the company of God because the Word pitched his tent among us and shared in the life of the world. We may share in his divinity because he shared in our humanity.