Theme: GOD REVEALS HIMSELF IN CREATION, IN OTHER RELIGIONS, AND “IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME” IN JESUS CHRIST
- Isaiah 52:7-10
- Psalm 97:1-6. R. v. 3
- Hebrews 1:1-6
- John 1: 1-5. 9-14 (Shorter Form)
A Happy Christmas to all of you! Christmas is about the revelation or manifestation of God! Christmas season includes the Nativity, that is, the manifestation of God in humanity; the Epiphany, that is, the manifestation of God as Savior to all the nations; and the Baptism of the Lord, that is, the manifestation of Jesus Christ as the Son of God!
The two New Testament readings today – Christmas Day – also tell us about the manifestation of God! The gospel and the second reading today tell us that God does not only reveal himself in Jesus Christ, but that God also reveals himself in creation and in other religions! But “in the fullness of time” God reveals himself in Jesus Christ completely, fully and perfectly!
The gospel tells us that “In the beginning was the Word: the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things came to be, not one thing had its being but through him. …. The Word was the true light that enlightens all men; and he was coming into the world. He was in the world that had its being through him, and the world did not know him. He came to his own domain and his own people did not accept him. But to all who did accept him he gave power to become children of God. …. The Word was made flesh, and lived among us, and we saw his glory, the glory that is his as the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.”! (Jn 1:1-3. 9-12. 14)
Again, the second reading tells us that “At various times in the past and in various different ways, God spoke to our ancestors through prophets; but in our own time, the last days, he has spoken to us through his Son, the Son that he has appointed to inherit everything and through whom he made everything there is. He is the radiant light of God’s glory and the perfect copy of his nature, sustaining the universe by his powerful command; and now that he has destroyed the defilement of sin, he has gone to take his place in heaven at the right hand of divine Majesty.”! (Heb 1:1-3)
Again, the gospel and the first reading tell us that God reveals himself in creation, in other religions, and “in the fullness of time” in Jesus Christ! If we believe that God reveals himself in creation, in other religions and “in the fullness of time” in Jesus Christ, then the implications are clear:
(i) We have to protect our environment! We have to protect our rainforest, our orangutans, our trees, our rivers, our seas, our air, our water, our mangrove swamps, and the many different species that live in our rainforest! But more than that we have to see
God in creation and creation in God! We have to have a creation spirituality! We have to have a good creation theology to support our salvation theology!
(ii) We have to be tolerant with people of other religions! We have to dialogue with and understand other religions! We have to respect other religions! We have to live in harmony and peace with people of other religions! We have to live and work with people of other religions for the good of the community, the society, the country, the nation, and the world!
(iii) We have to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to the whole world! We have to proclaim the “grace and truth”, the “grace (or love) and faithfulness” (NJB), the “mercy and loving kindness” (NJBC) of Jesus Christ to the whole world!
Again, a Blessed, Happy and Merry Christmas to all of you! Amen!