On this first Sunday of the New Year, when most of our Christmas and New Year celebrations are over, but we are still in the Christmas season, the church seems to ask us to put aside the pictures of angels, shepherds and wise men. If there is a Sunday between January 1st and January 5th, we use it to reflect on the central event of Christmas – the truth of God made man.
What is wisdom? What is the Word of God? We have heard these phrases in our readings today, because they are phrases that the first Christians used to explain the meaning of what happened at Christmas. “In our first reading from the book of Ecclesiasticus the author depicts the Wisdom of God as looking for a home on earth and finally pitching a tent among the chosen people. St John used this picture of wisdom to explain what happened at Christmas.” In our second reading we heard how St Paul wrote about the grace God gave us to become his adopted children. In our gospel reading, the well-known but perhaps little understood passage which opens St. John’s Gospel, the writer points out that by the coming of Our Lord, we have been justified, we have been made righteous, right with God. All this has been made possible by the Word becoming flesh. Because the Son of God had become a human being, like us in everything but sin, we could become children of God, by adoption. This is the permanent truth we celebrate at Christmas. So, three thoughts to pray over in the coming week.
- Society often chooses the wisdom of the world over that of any religious tradition. Pray for the grace to overcome the temptation to act in this way.
- Spend some time reflecting on the magnitude of divine generosity in your life.
- In what ways does your life radiate the true light brought into this world by Jesus Christ?