Merry Christmas!

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 were made through him, and without him was not anything that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkenss has not overcome it.

JN 1:1-5

Perhaps you heard this reading at mass on Christmas day? It is the Prologue or the “words that come before” of John the Evangelist’s gospel. It’s a bit puzzling to listen to, and for some, it is not as interesting as the other gospel readings from the Christmas masses. Those readings may fill our minds with images, smells and sounds of angels, stars, and shepherds, stables and hay, a young woman about to give birth, and her protective, solicitous husband who struggles to find a suitable place for the Child to be born. Compared to those, this reading may have seemed dull and you might have been inclined to drift off and start thinking about the lovely gifts you’d be opening or the rich Christmas dinner you would be enjoying later in the day.

If you did zone out at mass during the gospel reading, take a minute now and ponder what the Evangelist writes about God.

In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. God’s Word is so utterly complete and powerful, that is a person. It is the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, the Son. Just as our words are a way for us to express ourselves and communicate ourselves to others, God’s Word is His self-expression. It is His means of communicating Himself. But for God, self-communication is total, and effective. His Word is not only a person, the Son, and as John says, “in him was life.”

These are difficult concepts. Indeed our language is utterly insufficient to speak about God, because God cannot be contained or restrained by human words and ideas. If our words and ideas could capture the essence of God, He wouldn’t be a very impressive God! But still, God wants us to know Him. So we try to speak of Him. This is John’s attempt. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, John tells us that the Word is the Son. He was with the Father from all time. He was the Word that God spoke when He created. He is life and light for all mankind.

In fact, the self-communicating Word of God is the whole purpose of Christmas. God who is all glory, goodness, power, majesty, life etc. decided to become a tiny, poor, baby, born among animals, in a stable just outside of a little, sleepy, ancient town. God did this so as to communicate Himself, his Word, to us, so that we could approach him, gaze on him, and contemplate him, without fear. So do not be afraid, but rejoice, for, The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it! 

God’s will be done!

Mt 7:21-23

“Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in yur name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.'”

Jesus is very clear hear about what it takes to enter the kingdom of heaven. We must do the will of the Father. We can pray. We can call ourselves Christians. We can exercise the gifts that he gives us and do so in his name.  None of that will matter if we are “doers of evil.”  Heaven is not for those who perform mighty deeds, show up at prayers services or the mass, or rattle off words of prayers. Heaven is for those seek and do the will of God.

God’s will – this alone matters. It should be the driving force in our life. We should tirelessly, day in day out, moment by moment, decision by decision, seek and follow the will of God. This is our path to heaven. This alone, will make us happy.


I think of myself as a Christian.  What does that mean?  Would others think of me as a Christian based on my actions?


For the next three days, as often as you think of it, pray this prayer throughout your


day:  God’s will be done!