Apr 1, 2008, 8:05 AM
“At various times in the past and in various different ways, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets, but in our own time, the last days, He has spoken to us through His Son” (Hebrews 1:1).
We rejoice and we celebrate the coming of the eternal Son of God to us as a man. What we are celebrating is the nearness of God to mankind. What we are rejoicing for is that salvation has been made accessible to humanity of every time and place in the way it never was ever since the creation and the fall of man. The following section of the Psalm articulates the true reality of the whole issue and our sentiments: “All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Shout to the Lord of all the earth, ring out your joy” (Psalm 97:3-4).
The son that was born of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem of Judah this time two thousand years ago was the very eternal Son that as one true God has existed with the Father right from the beginning before anything was ever created. Without Him, creation or life couldn’t have been possible since it is through Him that the Father creates, give life and does any other work that He ever does. So in the prologue of His Gospel, St John states: “In the beginning was the word: the word was with God and the word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things came to be, not one thing had its being but through Him. At that came to be had life in Him” (John 1:1-2).
It was through the light and grace of the eternal Son of God which has for long been at work in creation ever before He became man that the illustrious patriarchs, great prophets and Holy men of old got the light and wisdom to see the small they saw and to do what they did. Speaking to the Jews, Christ confirmed that Abraham the historic patriarch was happy to see one of his days. We know that Abraham lived about two thousand years before Jesus Christ in terms of history. So what Christ was saying was quite evident of the fact that even by the time of Abraham, His own grace was already at work in creation. So the Elijah’s old and the Isaiah’s of the former times, the Davids of the ancient and the Moses of history were all chosen and empowered through Him, the eternal Word of God. So St John declared in his proplogue: “The word was the true light that enlightens all men” (John 1:9).
It was true that through His eternal Word God, was able to communicate to the holy men of old, but to their own world, God was invisible, obscure and remote. A few chosen people were able to encounter Him after much strain, while for the overwhelming majority of the populace, He remained entirely unknown. Even for those chosen ones, God’s way of speaking to them used to be fragmentary and clouded manner. Moses had to climb the mount of Sinai to hear God. Even at that, God would speak to him in cloud and in thunder, Elijah had to make forty days journey to the cave at Mount Horeb to dialogue with God, even at that, he had to employ the best of his Spirit of discernment to distinguish the voice of God in the gentle wind from the earthquake, the violent wind and the fire that make empty noise and cause meaningless sensation.
Now the age of darkness, fruitless search and our alienation from God came to pass through the human birth of the Son of God into the world.
So in our own days, God in His Son has decided to come to us direct, to be with us in flesh and blood, to encounter us in our own context and to dwell in our nature. So all of us could today see God and touch God, we could hear the word of God directly from Him and gain grace and favour directly and not through any intermediary or distorted form.
And so St John in his Gospel affirmed “The word was made flesh, He lived among us, and we saw His glory, the glory that is His as the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:4).
Let us kneel in the manager devotedly, let us listen to the gospel reverently and act on it, let us celebrate and receive the Eucharist worthily and offer our prayers sincerely and we will feel the joy and glory of the Christ of God in us. As the scripture told us: “He is the radiant light of God’s glory and the perfect copy of His nature” (Hebrews 1:3).