1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the
Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God; 3 all things were made
through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. 4 In
him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in
the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 6 There was a man sent
from God, whose name was John. 7 He came for testimony, to bear witness
to the light, that all might believe through him.
8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light. 9 The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not. 11 He came to his own home, and his own people received him not. 12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. 15 (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.'") 16 And from his fulness have we all received, grace upon grace.17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.
Meditation: Why does John the Evangelist begin his gospel with
a description of the Word of God? The “word of God” was a common expression
among the Jews. God’s word in the Old Testament is an active, creative,
and dynamic word. “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made”
(Psalm 33:6). “He sends forth his commands to the earth; his word
runs swiftly” (Psalm 147:15). “Is not my word like fire, says the
Lord, and like a hammer which breaks the rock in pieces” (Jeremiah 23:29)?
The writer of the Book of Wisdom addresses God as the one who “made all
things by your word” (Wisdom 9:1). God’s word is also equated with his
wisdom. “The Lord by wisdom founded the earth” (Proverbs 3:19).The Book
of Wisdom describes “wisdom” as God’s eternal, creative, and illuminating
power. Both “word” and “wisdom” are seen as one and the same. “For
while gentle silence enveloped all things, and night in its swift course
was now half gone, thy all-powerful word leaped from heaven, from the royal
throne, into the midst of the land that was doomed, a stern warrior carrying
sword of thy authentic command” (Book of Wisdom 18:14-16).
John describes Jesus as God’s creative, life-giving and light-giving
word that has come to earth in human form. Jesus is the wisdom and power
of God which created the world and sustains it who assumed a human nature
in order to accomplish our salvation in it. Jesus became truly man while
remaining truly God. “What he was, he remained, and what he was not he
assumed” (from an early church antiphon for morning prayer). Jesus
Christ is truly the Son of God who, without ceasing to be God and Lord,
became a man and our brother. From the time of the Apostles the Christian
faith has insisted on the incarnation of God’s Son “who has come in the
flesh” (1 John 4:2)
Gregory of Nyssa, one of the great early church fathers (330-395 AD) wrote: Sick, our nature demanded to be healed; fallen, to be raised up; dead, to rise again. We had lost the possession of the good; it was necessary for it to be given back to us. Closed in darkness, it was necessary to bring us the light; captives, we awaited a Savior; prisoners, help; slaves, a liberator. Are these things minor or insignificant? Did they not move God to descend to human nature and visit it, since humanity was in so miserable and unhappy a state?
Christians never cease proclaiming anew the wonder of the Incarnation. The Son of God assumed a human nature in order to accomplish our salvation in it. The Son of God ...worked with human hands; he thought with a human mind. He acted with a human will, and with a human heart he loved. Born of the Virgin Mary, he has truly been made one of us, like to us in all things except sin (Gaudium et Spes).
If we are going to behold the glory of God we will do it through Jesus Christ. Jesus became the partaker of our humanity so we could be partakers of his divinity (2 Peter 1:4). God's purpose for us, even from the beginning of his creation, is that we would be fully united with Him When Jesus comes God is made known as the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. By our being united in Jesus, God becomes our Father and we become his sons and daughters. Do you thank the Father for sending his only begotten Son to redeem you and to share with you his glory?
"Almighty God and Father of light, your eternal Word leaped down from
heaven in the silent watches of the night. Open our hearts to receive
his life and increase our vision with the rising of dawn, that our lives
may be filled with his glory and his peace.”