Read the text below, preferably aloud. As you hear the word, “listen with the ear of your heart” for a word or short phrase that God has for you this day.
John 1:1-5, 10-14
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.
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.
As I listen to the Prologue to John’s Gospel with the “ears of faith,” I am aware that this evangelist repeats himself in the opening lines, as if he is definitely driving a point home. It has been about sixty years since the death of Jesus of Nazareth, sixty years to ponder just who this person was. He had come from Galilee, ministered to the people of Israel, but few Israelites recognized him as other than a prophet. Not many accepted Jesus as the Anointed One sent by God. You can almost hear the objections raised by those struggling to formulate their beliefs. “He was just a man, yes, a man who did works of God, but was just a created being just like you and me!” On the other hand, those called docetists declared that Jesus was not fully human, but a god who only gave that appearance.
Is there a word or phrase that touches your heart?
The Prologue of John’s Gospel explodes with a “higher” Christology. Coming at it from a cosmic perspective, John proclaims that Jesus was not just a man, but is fully human and fully God. In fact, Jesus, God’s creative Word, was with God in the very beginning, preexistent, the creative agent separating light from darkness, land from water, and day from night. As God spoke, Jesus Christ made all things, the good and the very good. John masterfully connects Jesus with the Creator God of the Hebrew Scriptures using words and concepts hard to miss, words like “In the beginning,” “life,” and “light.” At the same time, the evangelist employs such words as logos and sarx to drive home for the Greek-speaking populace of the Roman world that Jesus Christ is both the very Word of God and a whole human person. With seeing eyes, made clear by faith, the author testifies that Jesus possessed the very glory of God, full of grace and truth.
©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.