First Reading: Isaiah 52: 7-10;
Second Reading: Hebrews 1:1-6;
Gospel: John 1:1-18
That wonderful night Santa came down through chimney and left so many gifts
to the children. When the children woke up they got what they dreamed of. But
two of the children among them started fighting and yelling at each other as they
unwrapped their gifts. Dad made calm them down and asked children what they
got as good news from Jesus this year. Each one responded in one’s own way.
One of those two boys said, ‘Dad I listened to Jesus very carefully. He told me
he came to this world to announce the good news of sharing. David my brother
did not listen to Jesus carefully. This is why he does not want to share with me
some of those gifts he got from Santa. He got everything double dad.’ The other
boy was very angry when he heard this. He told his dad, ‘Dad, Jesus announced
good news of free choice to me. I like it. This is why I made my own choice
not to give anything to this brother.’
This is our attitude to listen to Jesus’ good news according to our taste and view
of life. Jesus brought goo news of joy, of justice, of peace, of independence,
free choice, of love, of togetherness, of forgiveness, of sharing and so on. We
can go on drawing a never-ending list of all that the good news of Jesus offers to
us. We are born to dream; we are capable of dreaming eternal dreams. So we
believe Jesus’ birth brought to us good news that contain all fulfillment of our
dreams. When our situation in life leads us to a need or desire of something we
immediately claim that is the content of Jesus’ good news and we forget all
other dimensions of that good news. Though God appreciates in the first
reading through Isaiah, every person who brings that good news of Jesus (How
beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings glad tidings)
people, I of this world do not appreciate everyone who announces the good
news until he/she announces the exact good news that satisfies their personal
and situational need and desire.
There are people who insist one of fruits or promises of the good news and
reject the others. For example, many accepted the good news of justice but
never cared about its love dimension; some others care more of its power and
authority aspect than of its humility service factor. This is why endless wars,
dissensions, rifts, civil wars and other social headaches present in our society,
all in the name of this good news. This is why God today on this Christmas
invites us to accept his good news in totality, namely accept Jesus as God’s
good news. Jesus the good news is a package offered to us.
It is a mystery as St. Paul tells us today. Therefore it cannot be fathomed out,
nor can it be appropriated at once or at one time. It has to be gradually
unwrapped. The mysterious good news of Jesus is, wrapped in swaddling
clothes, lying in a manger. It is the duty of every person who wants to get the
most out of this good news to unwrap it properly and slowly and patiently and
enjoy all the content of it. When we look for one need of the day to be fulfilled
by this good news we should never ignore or overlook the entire holistic content
of the good news. Jesus the Good news is justice and love, individually and
commune, poverty and prosperity, earth and heaven, power and service, man
and diversity, and leadership and followership.
Jesus, as John points out today in the Gospel is a mystery; a package of good
news is God Himself. Many both inside and outside of the church do not
celebrate Christmas as the birthday of God, born as man. They may perhaps
esteem him as a godly man, man of God but never as God-man, God Himself.
But those who are present here, hear what John proclaims today as good news.
According to his preaching, Jesus was with God (the Word was with God).
Many people especially the Jews and Moslems may not accept this fact. The
worst part of John’s announcement is that Jesus was God (the Word was God).
Any person who is monotheist cannot digest this part of the Gospel. Here is the
third dangerous part of John’s claim about Jesus: ‘The Word became flesh and
made his dwelling among us.” That Jesus who was in the beginning with God,
who was God Himself, came down to the earth and took the flesh as his
dwelling place. This sounded and is ringing to the ears of millions of people as
heresy, blasphemy and the greatest joke ever told. God chose to become flesh?
This stinging and breakable flesh?
This is the good news God announces to us today. The corruptible flesh we
carry, the dirty world we live in, the unpredictable earth we move around are
chosen by God as his dwelling place. Therefore to unwrap the good news
package of God’s promises and our dreams’ fulfillment and enjoy Jesus the
eternal life and joy is to make a proper deal with all these wrappers, the flesh,
the world and the earth. When we use them and see the presence of Jesus in
them. In our business, our development, our politics, our power play and our
entertainment and rest, in everything we do let us see Jesus in them. Thus when
we get one portion of our dream come true we do not lose sight of the other
parts of our dream of Jesus. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is God
who became flesh. He is the gift package offered to us for a fuller life.
God bless. Merry Christmas.