Ruminate on the word you were drawn to in yesterday’s scripture passage (John 1:1-5, 10-14). What does the word or phrase you have chosen mean to you today?
The phrase to which the Holy Spirit draws my attention is “full of grace and truth.” These two concepts would have been common for the Greek-speaking person of John’s day. To say a person was full of grace meant that the person showed a special manifestation of the divine presence. Simply put, God was with that person. Likewise, for those in Greek society, truth was an ideal, a goal to strive for. For John, Jesus was the embodiment of grace and truth, “the image of the invisible God” (Col. 1:15). Grace and truth are words that have been taken over by the Christian community. We use grace in greetings, to speak of God-touched moments such as when we receive the sacraments or admire a sunrise. These are words that I am still learning about as I see Christ model them for me.
In my reading, I found that in the Hebrew, there are words synonymous with the Greek concepts of grace and truth. These are the concepts of unfailing love and faithfulness. In some places, mercy is found instead of faithfulness. These are very special words; they are words used in the covenant between the Israelites and God. In Exodus 34:6-7a, we have the faith statement of God’s chosen people, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for the thousandth generation.” For me, these are words inviting relationship with God. Since Jesus is full of grace and truth, or unfailing love and faithfulness, he also invites me into relationship with a God who I can put a face to. He has come into this world to be in covenant with me, with us.
What does your word or phrase mean to you this day?
©Christ Our Light, Donald Jackson, 2002 The Saint John’s Bible, Order of Saint Benedict, Collegeville, Minnesota. Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Catholic Edition, © 1993, 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.