REFLECTION | ‘The Word became Flesh and lived among us’

A resident of Tacloban prays the rosary in this photo dated 2015. InterAksyon file photo by Bernard Testa, InterAksyon.

A faithful in Tacloban City prays the rosary in this photo dated 2015. InterAksyon file photo by Bernard Testa, InterAksyon.

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 nothing came to be. Whatever has come to be, found life in him; life, which for human beings, was also light, light that shines in darkness, light that darkness could not overcome.

A man came, sent by God; his name was John. He came to bear witness, as a witness to introduce the Light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the Light, but a witness to introduce the Light; for the Light was coming into the world, the true Light that enlightens everyone. He was in the world, and through him the world was made, the very world that did not know him. He came to his own, yet his own people did not receive him; but to all who received him, he empowers to become children of God, for they believe in his name. These are born, but not by seed, or carnal desire, nor by the will of man: they are born of God.

And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us; and we have seen his glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father: fullness of truth and loving-kindness. John bore witness to him openly, saying, “This is the one who comes after me, but he is already ahead of me, for he was before me.” From his fullness we have all received, favor upon favor. For God had given us the law through Moses, but Truth and Loving-kindness came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but God the Son made him know: the one, who is in and with the Father.
—John 1:1-18

In all great religions and cultural traditions of the world, only in Christianity did God became man like us and had lived among the people. And this Son of God was born in a manger, in the town of Bethlehem in Palestine almost two thousand years ago.

The Son of God was born of Mary betrothed to Joseph from the House of David. The Son of God was called Jesus, the Emmanuel (God with us). And this significant event is called the Christmas, simply mean the Nativity or Birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of the Father. Thus, the followers of Jesus, who is the Christ (the anointed) are called Christians.

Every year, Christians all over the world celebrate in joyful festivities and memorial of this saving act of God when He allowed His only begotten son to be born to fulfill a promise of salvation, thus, through Jesus who is the savior of the world, man’s relationship with God is now restored and reconnected.

Celebrating Christmas is celebrating God’s love to humanity. Christmas is preceded by the Advent season, a period of joyful waiting. It is the highlight of a long waiting during the Advent season. Christmas is when the Word became flesh, thus the Incarnation of the Word who is Jesus is solemnly remembered and celebrated.

Aside from the blessings and graces one receives from God brought about by our spiritual preparations in the Advent season, Christmas fulfills the long wait, it is a joyful and graceful event for all Christians and for everyone.

Everyone has his/her own story to tell, story of one’s unforgettable Christmas experience. Christmas is very dear to children and to the family. Families see to it that they gather at this time of the year for it is the most happy and merry moment. It is always a treasure to hold and remember of that one Christmas moment when the family was intact and the members were complete.

Christmas is love concretized. And we are all recipients of God’s generosity and kindness, of God’s fidelity and love. What can we offer and give to God in return? It is also our love for him and for others. We can offer our praise and thanksgiving, our availability and dedication. We can’t repay God’s love but at least we can do something in our own little ways and with the simple things we give with love.

As a people of hope, saved by Jesus, we shall journey together as one family and as a people, especially in this moment where we are tested. To most of us, this time is bleak and seemed to be hopeless because of the killings and violence around us, but we have Jesus, the light of the world.

Jesus the Prince of Peace and the Hope of all Hopes is here with us. In this Christmas season, with zealous hearts, we take the path to peace and fullness of life. Remember, the star of Bethlehem was about love, peace and hope.

May the love of God purify everyone and abundantly enrich every Christian family as the birth of Christ is joyfully remembered and revisited again. May the Incarnate Word transform us in love and hope. May the birth of Jesus our savior make us fully human and fully alive. May the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph bless us and all the people we meet in our lives.

This is our gift to God and to everyone. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Prayer: O God who has made this most sacred radiant day with the splendor of the true light, grant, we pray, that we, who have known the mysteries of his light on earth, may also delight in his gladness in heave. This we ask through Christ our Lord who lies and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Intention: As we celebrate the birth of the savior of the world, the Prince of Peace, Jesus our Emmanuel, we remember those people whom we have promised to pray for, especially those who are in most need… those who are victims of violence, war and hatred.