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 into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he 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 into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him.
But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.
(John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’”) From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Like most people, I thrive in the light. But I live in a part of the country where winter is a very real thing. It’s dark and it’s cold, and it can affect my mood. Friends and siblings who live in sunnier parts of the country scoff at those of us willing to put up with the cold of winter. But I have no desire to move to a sunnier climate. For me, without winter, there is no joy in spring.
The timing of today’s Gospel is a gift from our Church: just when our nights are long, and shadows seem to have fallen over our country, we are reminded that darkness cannot overcome the light of God. Through his incarnation, Christ brought light and life and knowledge of the Father!
As we begin a new year, how can we let go of the darkness in our lives to fully embrace the light God offers? How can we bring light and the “joy of spring” to others?
—Therese Fink Meyerhoff is the director of communications for the USA Central and Southern Province of the Society of Jesus.
Loving God, bring us light in the darkness, peace in the turbulence. And may we be the bearers of your light to others. Amen.
—Therese Fink Meyerhoff