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December 31, 2021

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 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. 

Jesus Has Been With Us Since the Beginning

On the one hand, it seems odd to be reading about the beginning as we come to the end of the year. For many, 2021, has been a year that we will be eager to see in our rear view mirror. We continue to see Covid cases surge, the economy hasn’t rebounded as we hoped, and the divisions between people seem as strong as ever. 2021 didn’t provide the return to “normalcy” that we had hoped for at the end of 2020.

But on the other hand, today’s Gospel from the beginning of John is the perfect reading for the last day of the year. In his lyrical way, John is reminding us that there is something–someone–who transcends the difficulties that we may be experiencing. Jesus, the Word, has been with us since the beginning of time. John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus, who was coming after him, but who had existed before him. Jesus didn’t become human and enter a perfect world. The world 2,000 years ago was filled with the same divisions and sadness that our world sees today. But then, as today, Jesus came to bring God’s life, light, and peace into our hearts.

As we end this calendar year, look back at where Jesus has been clearly present to you. How will you take this into the new year?

—Lauren Gaffey is the Associate Director of Communications for the Midwest Jesuits and an Associate Director for Ignatian Young Adult Ministries in the Office of Ignatian Spirituality. 

 

 

 

Prayer 

Good and gracious God, as we come to the end of what has been, in many ways, a tough year, open our eyes to see the graces you have given us. Open our hearts to continue to see you in the people we meet, so that we may serve you more fully. As we turn the page on the calendar, help us to renew our commitment to you, that we may work with you to build your kingdom. Amen.

—Lauren Gaffey


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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December 31, 2021

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 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. 

Jesus Has Been With Us Since the Beginning

On the one hand, it seems odd to be reading about the beginning as we come to the end of the year. For many, 2021, has been a year that we will be eager to see in our rear view mirror. We continue to see Covid cases surge, the economy hasn’t rebounded as we hoped, and the divisions between people seem as strong as ever. 2021 didn’t provide the return to “normalcy” that we had hoped for at the end of 2020.

But on the other hand, today’s Gospel from the beginning of John is the perfect reading for the last day of the year. In his lyrical way, John is reminding us that there is something–someone–who transcends the difficulties that we may be experiencing. Jesus, the Word, has been with us since the beginning of time. John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus, who was coming after him, but who had existed before him. Jesus didn’t become human and enter a perfect world. The world 2,000 years ago was filled with the same divisions and sadness that our world sees today. But then, as today, Jesus came to bring God’s life, light, and peace into our hearts.

As we end this calendar year, look back at where Jesus has been clearly present to you. How will you take this into the new year?

—Lauren Gaffey is the Associate Director of Communications for the Midwest Jesuits and an Associate Director for Ignatian Young Adult Ministries in the Office of Ignatian Spirituality. 

 

 

 

Prayer 

Good and gracious God, as we come to the end of what has been, in many ways, a tough year, open our eyes to see the graces you have given us. Open our hearts to continue to see you in the people we meet, so that we may serve you more fully. As we turn the page on the calendar, help us to renew our commitment to you, that we may work with you to build your kingdom. Amen.

—Lauren Gaffey


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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