And the word became flesh

Published December 31, 2021, 12:05 AM

by Manila Bulletin


Reflections today

The Word, who is God from all eternity, chooses to become flesh and to dwell among human beings. “Flesh” (sarx in Greek) evokes not only humanity but also weakness, fragility, and mortality. It connotes being human and mortal in contrast to being divine and spiritual. In various times and in many different ways, God revealed himself to the people of Israel through signs and wonders. He revealed himself in his power and transcendence. But in the fullness of time, God reveals himself in weakness: he becomes a man. He accepts the limitations of human nature and the risk of hostility and rejection.

Christ’s descent to our “flesh” and our fragility is the ultimate manifestation of God’s love: it enables us to rise with him. The third Christmas Preface explains that in the Word-made-flesh “God has become one with man, and man has become one again with God.” It goes on to say that when the eternal Word took upon himself our human weakness, he gave our mortal nature immortal value. What does the mystery of the Incarnation mean for us? Here, it is good to recall the majestic opening words of Gaudium et Spes, Vatican II’s Constitution on the Church in the Modern World: “The joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the men of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ. Indeed, nothing genuinely human fails to raise an echo in their hearts.”

GOSPEL • JOHN 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… 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…

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2021,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: