Theme: GOD REVEALS HIMSELF IN CREATION, IN OTHER RELIGIONS, AND IN JESUS CHRIST
- Isaiah 52:7-10;
- Ps 97 (98): 1-6. R/ v. 3;
- Hebrews 1:1-6
- John 1:1-18 (Shorter Form, verses 1-5. 9-14)
A happy and joyful Christmas to all of you! The readings today tell us about Christmas!
The gospel today tells us that God reveals himself in creation. Everything was created through Christ and in Christ. Everything comes from Christ and goes back to Christ. He is the alpha (beginning) and the omega (end). There is a meaning, a purpose and a direction in creation! Creation did not come by accident. That is why we have to care for creation. We have to protect the environment.
Today with global warming, climate change; and in the news last week, flash floods in the Philippines that killed over a thousand people due to logging of the forest, the killing of orang utans in Indonesia in some oil palm estates, and the pollution of our rivers in Sabah, by some oil palm estates; we have defaced creation. We have destroyed the environment.
The gospel today also tells us that God reveals himself in other religions and particularly in Judaism. That is why it is important that we dialogue with other religions.
In fact in the year 2007, 138 Muslim scholars, clerics, and intellectuals from all over the world wrote a letter to Pope Benedict XVI entitled “A Common Word Between Us and You” inviting him to dialogue on the principles of “Love of God and Love of Neighbor”! Our Pope accepted the invitation and the dialogue is still going on.
In his Christmas Day message this year; our Bishop Julius also noted that with the recent establishment of diplomatic relationship between Malaysia and the Vatican we are encouraged to have “inter-religious dialogues for the promotion of peace and justice”!
The gospel also tells us that God reveals himself fully, perfectly and completely in Jesus Christ! In Jesus Christ God reveals his “grace and truth”, that is, his “love and faithfulness” respectively, that is, his “faithful love”! In Moses God reveled his law, but in Jesus Christ he revealed his “faithful love”! The law cannot save us; only the “faithful love” of God can save us! That is why it is most urgent and most important to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ, the “faithful love” of God, for the salvation of the whole world!
Indeed, the first reading tells us that the prophet Isaiah proclaimed this good news of salvation to the Jews and to the whole world! Thus we read in the first reading:
“How beautiful on the mountains, are the feet of one who brings good news, who heralds peace, brings happiness, proclaims salvation, and tells Zion, ‘Your God is king!’” (Is 52:7; SM)
“The Lord bares his holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.” (Is 52:10; SM)
The responsorial psalm follows the theme of “universal salvation” of the first reading. The responsorial psalm is a hymn of praise to God for salvation. Thus the response of the responsorial psalm:
“All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.” (Ps 97 (98): 3; SM)
And thus the first, second and third stanzas of the responsorial psalm:
“Sing a new song to the Lord for he has worked wonders. His right hand and his holy arm have brought salvation. The Lord has made known his salvation; has shown his justice to the nations. He has remembered his truth (faithfulness) and love for the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.” (Ps 97 (98): 1- 3; SM)
The second reading also follows the theme of the gospel. The second reading also tells us that God reveals himself in creation. Everything is for Jesus Christ, created through Jesus Christ and sustained by Jesus Christ.
The second reading also tells us that God reveals himself in other religions, particularly in Judaism, in the prophets, including Abraham, Moses, Nathan, Elijah, etc. (CSB; NJBC)
The second reading also tells us that in the fullness of time, God revealed himself in Jesus Christ, “the perfect copy of his nature”!
Again, that is why we have to protect creation, dialogue with other religions, and proclaim the good news of salvation!
Again, a happy and joyful Christmas to all of you! Amen!