Reflection for Thursday, December 31, 1998: Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas.

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Gillick, Larry, S.J.
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Here on the last day of the year, the first words of the Gospel in the Roman Catholic liturgy are, "In the beginning was the Word". These words begin the eighteen verses of John's opening chapter of his gospel. In these lines, which are known as the Prologue, we hear the major themes of the entire Gospel. We read about creation, that everything which was made, was made in and through the Word. We hear about the Word coming into the world to enlighten it. We are encouraged by the Word's coming to dwell among His own and to those who believe He would give them the dignity of being children of God.||We also get the major idea that Jesus is the Word and John came to announce His arrival. This distinction was important for the author of John's Gospel, because there was a group shortly after the death of Jesus who believed that John was the "anointed One", and not Jesus. John's Gospel is full of declarations that Jesus is the one Who is "sent".|So just as with a musical play, we hear the overture which hints at the songs we will hear throughout the play, so into day's gospel reading, we read lines which will developed throughout the rest of the Gospel.|It is the eve of the last year of the present century. Perhaps it is a good day to reflect on the readings today as a prologue for the play of the next year for us. I muse prayerfully upon the themes of my being created in the Word and how being created out of the love of God plays out in my life. Sometimes I rest easily being a creature beloved of God and at other times I resent being so dependent on the Creator. This is a major theme of the play of my life.|These past Christmas days we have celebrated the "The word became flesh and dwelt among us." We wrestle often to believe this. We wonder whether He continues among us or has He left His home here, because He finds so little reception and welcome among His own.|John the Baptist played his part in making the Word present and we who have heard the Word, are missioned in our lives to make the Word present and heard in the scenes and acts of our lives. This makes the stage set then. We have heard the Prologue of the Gospel of Jesus according to John, and we are rehearsed to play our roles in living our Gospel of this new year which begins tonight.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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