The WORD in Other Words by Fr Felix Ferrer SVD (Philippines) for December 25
The majestic opening of John‘s Gospel shows the limitless scope of the mission of Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh. Three things are worth considering.
- Jesus is the definitive self-expression of God, the one through whom God created all things in the beginning. The whole cosmos is the canvas for the expression of God‘s glory.
- The Word is working, and because his work began in the beginning, all subsequent human labor is derived from his initial labor. The work God did in Genesis 1 and 2 was performed by the Word. Many Christians continue to labor under the delusion that the Messiah only began working once things had gone irredeemably wrong, and that his work is restricted to saving souls (invisible) to bring them to heaven (immaterial). Once we recognize that the Messiah was working materially with God from the beginning, we can reject every creation-denying (and thus work-denigrating) theology.
- A deeper evidence for God‘s ongoing commitment to creation is John 1:14, “The Word became flesh and lived among us.” The incarnation is not the triumph of the spirit over the flesh, but the fulfillment of what the flesh was created for in the beginning. The flesh is not a temporary base of operations, but the Word‘s permanent abode. A God hostile to, or uninterested in, the material realm would hardly be inclined to take up permanent residence within it. If the world in general is of such immense concern to God, it stands to reason that the work done within that world matters to him as well
This is the reason for the Christmas season: God wants to be with us and save us through his Son, Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh.