Gospel Reflections

Feast of the Nativity Daytime

John 1:1-18

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister Agnes Nelson

Published: December 25, 2016


At the midnight Mass we heard Luke’s version of the birth of Jesus in a stable at Bethlehem and at the dawn Mass we saw the shepherds receiving a joyful heavenly message to go to that same stable and  “find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”  However at the Mass during the day we are presented, not with a scene, but with a deep mystery to be contemplated.

The Word…

who was God…

who was the true Light…

became flesh…

and dwelt among us.

Here we have a physical reality – the Word become flesh – but at its heart is a profound spiritual message, “matter matters.”  This Light entering the world “enlightens.”  This light is at the centre of every cell says the poet Mary Oliver and so, she concludes,  “My work is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished.”

We might ask the question, “Why have we come into this world?” The author Philip Newell puts it simply: “to be filled with Light and to shine.”  He elaborates by saying that we have to become more and more aware that we are bearers of unspeakably beautiful Light and that this Light is at the heart of our being for one another and for the world.

Today then, in the midst of our celebrations and joyful gatherings, let yourself be astonished by the Light in other people’s faces and take a moment to give thanks for that same Light in the depths of yourself.

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