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.
This passage is the prologue to St. John’s gospel, a very deep teaching on the mystery of the Incarnation. However, don’t let us be intimidated by the depth; remember that it was written for each of us, like the whole Bible, it was for you and your salvation that it came down from heaven.
The message that we should hear from the gospel is “God so loved us that he gave his only-begotten son for us.” He gave his divine Son a human nature, to dwell among us, to teach us, and finally to die for us. And “who and what are we that he should be mindful of us?” why did he go to such lengths for us? This is one of the questions to which we shall get the answer in heaven.
In the meantime all we can do is admit the fact that God loved us, that he has done wondrous things for us because of that love. One of these things, the greatest of them, is what this gospel puts so clearly before us today: it is the fact of the Incarnation which joined our human nature with the divinity in the Person of Christ, and thereby made us heirs of heaven.
We have forgotten this privilege, this gift, too often in the past and instead of being grateful to God we have insulted and offended him. Through our sinful acts we have told him we did not want him to be our Father, we did not want the eternal heaven his Son earned for us, which means we do not want his love.
Today let us tell him we did not really mean that. We want to love him and we want to go to heaven and with the help of his grace we shall endeavor in the future to be obedient and grateful children of his.
Today’s fervor may not last, but our loving Father foresaw our weaknesses and left us the means of returning to him any time we fall. Let not our frailty then or our fickleness frighten us. We are dealing with the God of love, among whose sons and daughters there is not prodigal who is not welcome back, if he or she takes the simple steps on the return journey. So let each of us today to ask for interior knowledge of the Lord, Who for me has become man, that I may more love and follow Him. Amen.