Sunday, December 25, 2022
by Fr. David M. Knight
View readings for today:
The Responsorial Psalm for Mass during the day proclaims: “All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God” (Psalm 98). And all three readings emphasize the uniqueness of this “saving power,” which abides in Jesus, who is uniquely the “Son of God.”
Isaiah 52: 7-10 keeps insisting that the power that saves us is God’s own: “Your God is King!,” ”They see… before their eyes, the LORD restoring Zion…. The LORD comforts his people… the LORD has bared his holy arm….”
Hebrews 1: 1-6 is unequivocal about the uniqueness of Jesus: “God spoke to our ancestors in partial and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son…. He is the refulgence of God's glory, the very imprint of his being, who sustains all things by his mighty word.”
John 1: 1-18 is perhaps the most mystical of all the passages in the Gospels, and the most explicit about Jesus’ divinity: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…. And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.” (“Grace” is hesed, charis, “steadfast love”; and “truth” is emet, aletheia, “fidelity.” Jesus is the embodiment of God’s enduring love).
John concludes, “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.” So we sing, “All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.”
This power is able to accomplish “far more than all we can ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20). To all who believe in him, Jesus gives “power to become children of God.” Jesus is the Son of God who makes us “sons and daughters in the Son.” By his death and resurrection he became able to say to his disciples, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God” (John 20:17). He has made us divine.
Christianity is unique in believing that God became human. And equally unique in believing that “in Christ” — and only in Christ, by sharing in his divine life — humans become God (see December 20). This is why Christians are called to be, not just exemplary human beings, but people who live and love on the level of God. The more we grow into this by surrender to Christ within us, the more “All the ends of the earth will see the saving power of God.”
Initiative: If you want to live life to the full, be Christ! Accept to live on the level of God. Say before every action, “Lord, do this with me, do this in me, do this through me.” In everything you do, act with the love of Jesus himself.
Reflections brought to you by the Immersed in Christ Ministry