The world did not know him

Merry Christmas. I’m sharing a photo from my arrival back at Reagan Washington National Airport earlier this month, but I’m visiting family near Philadelphia for Christmas today.

Last night attended Midnight Mass at Corpus Christi. In the final hour of Christmas Eve, Corpus Christi’s choir performed. Here’s a brief bit from last night’s performance:

And here’s Bishop Robert Barron reflecting on Christmas, specifically on John 1:1-18 in his Gospel Reflections:

“The world came to be through him, but the world did not know him.” In that pithily crafted line, we sense the whole tragedy of sin. Human beings were made by and for the Logos and therefore they find their joy in a sort of sympathetic attunement to the Logos. Sin is the disharmony that comes when we fall out of alignment with God’s reasonable purpose.

Then comes the incomparably good news: “But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God.” It is a basic principle of nature that nothing at a lower level of being can rise to a higher level unless it is drawn upward. For example, a plant can become ingredient in a sentient nature only if it is devoured by an animal. By this same principle, a human being can become something higher only when a superior reality assimilates him. The Church Fathers consistently taught that God became human so that humans might become God—which is to say, participants in the divine nature. In a word, we can become children of God precisely because God reached down to us and became a son of man.

I’m thinking of my friend today, who grew up with the challenge of his father to “live every day as if it were Christmas.” What lies at the heart of that challenge is to live every day with a closeness to the essential mystery that this life is, and to the reality of Christ’s revelation of himself as the root and cause of this strange and continent universe.