Homily for Friday, 7th day within the Octave of Christmas (1)

Homily for Friday, 7th Day within the Octave of Christmas
Theme: “In the beginning was the Word…”

By: Fr. Mike Lagrimas

St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches
Homily for Friday 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 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. A man named John was sent from God. He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light but 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 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 Son, full of grace and truth.
John testified to him and cried out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’” From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace, because while the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. The only Son, God, who is at the Father’s side, has revealed him.
Today is the last day of the year. But surprisingly, our Gospel on this last day is not talking about the end, but about beginning. “In the beginning was the Word…” This is how St. John started his Gospel.
These are the same as the very first words in the Book of Genesis, “In the beginning…” However, while Genesis is referring to the beginning of the created universe, John’s Prologue goes infinitely back further – the beginning of everything, God Himself. Everything starts with God. He is the Alpha, the beginning. But He Himself has no beginning, for He is absolutely eternal. Before anything came into being, God already exists. And it reveals that in those beginnings, the Eternal Word is already existing. And the Word is of the very same nature as God and is in a close relationship with God.
That relationship is love, for God Himself is Love. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that “by sending his only Son and the Spirit of Love in the fullness of time, God has revealed his innermost secret: God himself is an eternal exchange of love, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and he has destined us to share in that exchange” (no. 221).
Love is an outward movement. It is meant to be shared; it always reaches out. This is the reason why God created the world. Creation is the natural outflow or overflow of love. And finally, God did not remain in eternity, beyond the reach of man. God entered time and history when He decided to be born as man. From that time on, God is not any more an unreachable reality. He became like us, and He became one with us: Emmanuel, God with us.
That is why, as we end this year, we are reminded by St. John that since God is with us, there cannot be any absolute end. Every ending is just another beginning because we live with God who is the Alpha, the beginning. This is clearly illustrated in the Traditional Latin Mass. After saying, ‘Ite, Missa est’ (Go, the Mass is ended), the priest proclaims the Gospel from John’s Prologue: “In the beginning…”
In truth, the only end that we look forward to is union with God, for He is the Omega, the end of everything. He is the beginning and the end. In other words, when we are fully united with God, we are incorporated into His eternal life. We enter the realm of eternity. This is similar with a drop of water that falls into the ocean. God is the ocean; we are the drop of water. The drop becomes the ocean.
A few hours from now, we end the year 2021, and begin another year. What will the New Year bring us? We do not know. But what we are certain of is that when the New Year comes, God is already there. That is why, despite all the threats of this pandemic, wars and calamities, and despite all fears and uncertainties, there really is nothing to be afraid of or worried about. Let us just make sure we are with God, and the year ahead will always be full of hope as we come closer to our final destiny: union with God in eternity.
Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches

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