December 31, 2020
Fr. Boniface Tigga, S.J.
We come to the end of a year and listen to what God’s word says to us. It helps us look back to learn and look forward in hope. God’s word is a creative word who gives life to all, in love. Jesus is the Word uttered by the Father, the word of hope and promise. Jesus is God’s message to us – he is our Good News. We know that God loved the world and sent Jesus among us. He is the ‘only Son who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known’. As we stand on the threshold of another year, we take time to recall the greatest event of all: God has entered our world, not just for a day’s visit, but has made it his permanent dwelling.
It has been an eventful year that leaves lasting memories. We have the fidelity of God to sustain us in the many challenges of life. We need light in the darkness and hope in the uncertainty that is around us. God has given us the Eternal Word and the living word of scripture to guide us.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” It was at the side of God, before the creation, and through Him all things were created. Everything which exists is an expression of the Word of God. As it happens with the Wisdom of God, (Prov 8:22-31), in the same way also the Word wishes to get closer to us and becomes flesh in Jesus. It came in our midst and carried out its mission and returned to God. Jesus is this Word of God. Everything that it says and does is communication which reveals the Father to us.
God created all things by means of His Word. “He speaks and everything is made” (Ps 33: 9; 148:5). All creatures are an expression of the Word of God. This living Word of God, present in all things, shines in darkness. Darkness tries to overpower it, but it could not succeed. The search for God, which is always new, is reborn in the human heart.
John the Baptist comes to help people to discover and to relish this luminous and consoling presence of the Word of God in life. The witness of John the Baptism has been very important, so much so that many people thought that he was the Christ (Messiah) (Acts 19:3; Jn 1:20). “John was not the light! He has come to bear witness to the light!” John is a witness to the light. Jesus is God’s creative, life-giving and light-giving Word that has come to earth in human form. We are children of God who are promised new life by Jesus who revealed the Father’s love to us. Jesus is God’s greatest gift to us. Jesus desires to be at home with us and desires us to be at home with him.
The Word of God manifests itself in nature, in creation, so also it is manifested in the “world”, that is in the history of humanity, particularly, in the history of the People of God. But the “world” does not recognize, does not receive the Word. “He came to His own and His own people did not accept Him”.
People who open themselves to accept the Word, become sons and daughters of God. The person becomes son or daughter of God not because of his/her own merits, neither because of belonging to the race of Israel, but because of the simple fact of having trust and believing that God in His goodness, accepts and receives us. The Word of God penetrates within the person and makes the person feel accepted as a son or daughter of God. This is the power of the grace of God.
God does not want to remain far away from us. Because of this, His Word, gets closer and becomes present in our midst in the Person of Jesus. “And the Word became flesh and lived among us”. Jesus comes to reveal who this is, our God, present in everything, from the beginning of creation. Jesus brings God fully into our world. He lives among us, in our country, our city, our neighborhood, our homes, our hearts. His love and his light radiate everywhere. By our being united in Jesus, God becomes our Father and we become his sons and daughters.
Everything that exists is an expression of the Word of God, a revelation of His presence. Am I sufficiently contemplative to be able to receive and experience this universal presence of the Word of God? What does it mean for me to be called a son or daughter of God? What word does the Lord desire me to take with me as I enter the New Year?