Daily Reflection for Friday, December 31 2021
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Friday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: 1 John 2:18-21
Responsorial: Psalm 96:1-2, 11-12, 13
Gospel: John 1:1-18
Our reflection on Friday’s readings:
“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.” John 1:4-5
Last week we experienced the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year. We are still in the depth of short days and long dark winter nights. However, today is the seventh day in the octave of Christmas. Celebrating Christmas as the birth of Christ in our hearts brings us a spiritual light that frees our souls from the winter doldrums.
I felt the joy of Christmas during the Christmas Eve Mass at Saint Monica with dozens of children reenacting the birth of Jesus in a manger. What a joy to know that God loved us enough to become one of us to show us the light of God.
The story goes that Saint Francis, with permission from the Pope and borrowed animals from a friend, was the first to create the first nativity scene for Christmas Eve Mass in December 1223. Our tradition of having a nativity scene during the Mass continues to this day, helping us appreciate the humble circumstances under which Jesus came to join us in our world.
Lucius Newsome, who started several food banks in Indianapolis, would remind volunteers that many people would come through the food lines that day, and we were to see Jesus in each of them. God loves us first and sees us as his children. In today’s Gospel reading, John the Evangelist does not focus on Jesus in a manger, but Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, the Word of God who was with the Father and who loved us from the beginning.
This Christmas season presents us with Jesus as the Word of God, the creator of the world, and Jesus, the infant in a manger. Our challenge is to see these two as one and invite Jesus into our hearts every day during this Christmas season.
Prayer: Lord, help me to make room for you in my heart so that I can share your love and light with all.
Merry Christmas to all!
Peace and Blessings,
Deacon John McShea