Second Sunday of Christmas, 2 Jan. 2022

Ecclesiasticus 24:1-2, 8-12, Psalm 147:12-15, 19-20, Ephesians 1:3-6, 15-18, John1:1-18

Today’s Readings resonate with calm, hope, reassurance and joy, so much needed in these days of breaking news, news flashes, emergency restrictions, day to day decisions. “Thousands test positive” “Hospital numbers soar”, “Get your booster today”. And on and on.

It is impossible for us to distance ourselves from the on-going tragedy of the pandemic, and it would be wrong to do so, but it is essential that we look at the ‘big picture’. We are helped in this by today’s readings. From eternity, in the beginning, God created Wisdom, and for eternity Wisdom shall remain. The psalm assures us that God has strengthened the bars on our gates, and has blessed us. St Paul tells us that we are chosen, before the world was made. But why were we chosen? To be holy and spotless and to live through love in his presence. Paul prays that God will enlighten the eyes of our minds, so that we can see what hope his call holds for us. Basically, we are called to pray for and accept the gift of Wisdom, and to live wisely, in order to lead us to better understanding of the great mystery of the Incarnation. Yes, the Word was made flesh!

If we refuse to be challenged by these Scripture readings, we revert to a situation where my convenience regarding restrictions, jabs, opportunities to socialise, availability of the service that I want and decide that I need, becomes more important than the sufferings of others, whether local or global. So, the amazing fact of the Incarnation and all that we are told about the life and teachings of Christ must be part of our daily consciousness. This first chapter of St John’s gospel is so familiar that it is possible that we don’t really hear it any more. As John Betjeman’s poem, Christmas, puts it so beautifully:

No love that in a family dwells,
No carolling in frosty air,
Nor all the steeple-shaking bells
Can with this simple truth compare –
That God was Man in Palestine
And lives today in Bread and Wine.

Lucina Montague OP

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