December 25th 2022
Nativity of the Lord
Christmas reminds us that a new life is forming within us, that Christ offers us the possibility of one rebirth, of a new beginning.
The Gospel of the Christmas Day Mass is John’s Prologue. The Prologue reveals who that Child is which we have long awaited (Vigil Mass), of which we have been given the solemn announcement (Mass of the night) and that we finally contemplated in his mother’s arms in the crib (Mass of the dawn). In verse 14 we have the lapidary and provocative phrase of John: “And the Word (Logos) became flesh (sarx)”.
Sarx designates man in his existential fragility, as is well known. On the contrary, God is a God of glory (cf. 40.5). How is it possible that the Logos, God, has assumed an ephemeral condition? How is it possible that the subsistent and eternal Logos become mortal? Here is the challenge of Christmas: to recognize the glory of God in the humanity of Jesus: his fatigue (Jn 4: 6), tears (Jn 11,35) and emotion in the face of death (Jn 13:21). This recognition is reached through the way of faith, well highlighted in that “And we have beheld his glory” (Jn 1,14c). Faith is expressed in terms of vision (“we have seen”). Here the Christian community, the we of believers, clearly states that it has seen in the flesh the glory or, in other words, has recognized God in the story of Jesus. Christmas reminds us that, within, we are forming a new life, in which Christ offers us the possibility of a rebirth, a new beginning. Of course, our past history can weigh us down and condition us, but not to the point of extinguishing hope. In Christ, born for us, we understand then that it is never too late to start over.
Commentary by b. Sandro Carotta, osb Abbazia di Santa Maria – Praglia (Italy)
Translation by f. Mark Hargreaves, Prinknash Abbey