Sunday, January 19, 2014

Continuing Christmas

The Christmas cactus finally bloomed!  I was away on vacation.  I guess, being a cactus, it thrives on inattention.  This plant belonged to a woman who died in the early 70's and her husband gave it to me.  It has never been as glorious as it is right now. 
Christmas and Epiphany help us to think about who Jesus is.  The rest of the year we reflect on what he does.  The liturgy for this 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time continues our Christmas and Epiphany reflection on  who Jesus is.  We use John's Gospel because of all the Gospels he stresses the mystery of God in human flesh.
The Gospel writer sees that Jesus provides unique and unprecedented access to God because Jesus shares in God's character and identity.  It is as the Word-Made-Flesh that Jesus brings God fully to the world.  Jesus doesn't simply speak God's words and do God's works; rather he does those things because he is God's Word and God's Work in the world.  All his words and works, his whole life and his death and resurrection, make God known to the world.  From the beginning to the end of his Gospel John bears witness to the gift of Love that God gives the world in the Word-Made-Flesh.
(Much of that last paragraph comes from the introduction to the Gospel according to John in the excellent The New Interpreters' Study Bible  published by Abingdon.)

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