January 3, 2020
The prologue of the Gospel according to John, which we heard on this Second Sunday of Christmas time, brings us to what is essential, to the center of the Christian life. It brings us to the beginning (Jn 1:1), where, in principle, we do not mean only what is at the beginning, but what is the keystone, that which provides the key to reading everything else. The meaning of life is intended.
Firstly, in the final verse, John tells us that Jesus came to reveal precisely this, He came to reveal the face of God to us.
And he adds that only Jesus can do this because no one else has seen God (Jn 1:18).
In the beginning, in reality, man had been created just for this, to see God, to be in a relationship with Him. Sin obscured this relationship, to hide the Face of God from man, so the Face of God needed to be revealed to man again.
Jesus can do it for one simple reason: because He is God (Jn 1:18), because He is in the midst of us, because He takes on our flesh (Jn 1:14). In Him, the life of God and the life of men and women come together in a single life.
That is why John can say that in Him was life, and that life was the light of men (Jn 1:4).
This means that the light of our life, namely, our ultimate truth, cannot be sought elsewhere than here, in this life which Jesus reveals to us. We are nothing else, we cannot find any other light to give meaning to what we live, except in this life that holds the life of God and ours together.
We could summarize all this in a single word, namely relationship. The true life, which Jesus reveals to us, is a life that lives the fullness of relationships, a life that is relationship, with God and with men. A life which, ultimately, is the opposite of loneliness, isolation, a life that is love and communion. We’ve been made this way.
And John affirms this when he says that “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (Jn 1:3): we could say that the model on which we were designed and created is Christ, man and God. The Father wanted us like this, he wanted us as His Son, like Jesus.
For this reason, John keeps telling, “to those who welcomed him he gave power to become children of God” (Jn 1:12): that is, to those who believe in this light, to all who trust and rejoice in this call, the Father gives a new name, a new identity, which was as in the beginning, always: that of simply being children. This is real life.
This life does not forcefully impose itself, it does not force anyone, it allows freedom. And in fact, in verses 10-11 the evangelist says, almost in amazement, that this Life came into the world, but His people did not accept it, did not recognize it, rejected it.
What happened to the light when it was rejected? Did it go out?
No, says John, on the contrary: darkness has not overcome it (Jn 1:5).
When the light was rejected, this light became yet brighter and placed in our life an even more solid and safer principle: that is, it gave itself completely, to the end, to the cross.
This is the light of men, this way of being in relationship that God has chosen, this way of loving to the end. This is the life of the sons.
So, at the beginning of this year we are called to lay a foundation in our life, to recognize what is first of all, on which we want to build everything else.
And if we want that our life is truly life, we can only begin with this, the objective fact that God gave himself to us in Christ, without backing down from our rejection.
This is the only light that can truly illuminate our existence.