Friday 31 December 2021
Today is Friday the 31 December, in the Season of Christmas.
The Corydon Singers, conducted by Matthew Best, sing Cantique de Jean Racine by Fauré: A hymn of praise to Christ, our light and our hope: ‘Word, one with the Most High, our one hope, eternal day of the earth and the heavens.’ As I listen, I entrust myself to that same Christ, I place all my hope in him, and invite the light of Christ into my life.
Today’s reading is from the Gospel of John.
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 into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he 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 into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, ‘This was he of whom I said, “He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.” ’) From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.
This is the prologue of John’s Gospel, once read as the Last Gospel of every Mass. It is a powerful piece of scripture for New Year’s Eve. We are reminded that we have been living in a world blessed by Truth, Light and Life. Do you recognise this in your life? In the world around you?
In John, we see a witness to faith, an encourager. Can you call to mind someone who has fulfilled that role for you? Take a moment to reflect on those who bring light to your faith journey.
It has been a difficult year for many. A year with much darkness and fear. How can you make a difference in the year to come? How can you reflect God’s light to others?
As the year ends, take time to give thanks for the graces you have received. Invite the Lord to be close to you in the year ahead.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.