By Jim Orcutt, Co-Founder of My Brother's Keeper

These personal reflections on the Monday gospel represent my insight of Christ’s message as viewed through the lens of my life experience. It is my hope that others will be inspired to reflect upon their views as well.
Date: December 31, 2018
December 31, 2018

Gospel JN 1:1-18

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 came to be through him,
and without him nothing came to be.
What came to be through him was life,
and this life was the light of the human race;
the light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.

A man named John was sent from God.
He came for testimony, to testify to the light,
so that all might believe through him.
He was not the light,
but came to testify to the light.
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world,
and the world came to be through him,
but the world did not know him.
He came to what was his own,
but his own people did not accept him.

But to those who did accept him
he gave power to become children of God,
to those who believe in his name,
who were born not by natural generation
nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision
but of God.

And the Word became flesh
and made his dwelling among us,
and we saw his glory,
the glory as of the Father’s only-begotten Son,
full of grace and truth.

John testified to him and cried out, saying,
“This was he of whom I said,
‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me
because he existed before me.’”
From his fullness we have all received,
grace in place of grace,
because while the law was given through Moses,
grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
No one has ever seen God.
The only-begotten Son, God, who is at the Father’s side,
has revealed him.

Reflection: 

St. John does not start the story of Jesus in Bethlehem. He tells the story from the “beginning,” before the earth was even formed.

“In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.”

Long before Jesus Christ was born on Christmas Day, He had existed with God as “The Word.” Jesus was with God, One in Being with our Father, the Creator, from the beginning of time.

“All things came to be through him,
and without him nothing came to be.”

Christ was there at the creation of the earth and when God said, “Let us make man and maid in our image.”

“What came to be through him was life,
and this life was the light of the human race;
the light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.”

Two thousand years after His birth, Jesus, God from God, Light from Light, continues to shine. The darkness of selfishness and hate, wars, the slaughter of the innocent, and all things evil, cannot “overcome” or extinguish The Light.

We, having been made in God’s image, are but a reflection of God’s goodness. We are made to love as God loves, to forgive as God forgives.

Like John the Baptist, we are also called to “testify to the Light.” 

Both human and divine, we are caught between heaven and earth.
In our imperfection, we stumble through life, falling and rising, moving ever forward, carrying the Light of Christ toward our goal: to be reunited with God our Creator.

God sees our struggles and loves us. Like any mother or father, there is only one thing impossible for God: He does not have the ability to stop loving us.

God’s love is not like a light switch; He does not turn His love on and off depending upon our behavior. Having been created in His image, His love for us burns bright forever.

Our ability to love our children in the way we do is only possible because we are made in God’s image. This is the purest reflection of God’s love for us.

“From his fullness we have all received,
grace in place of grace,
because while the law was given through Moses, 
grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”

May we extend grace and mercy to others in the same way that God’s extends His grace to us.

“Grace is God choosing to extend His mercy rather than punishing us as our sin deserves. Grace is God’s unmerited kindness to the undeserving.” Unknown



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