Meditation of Patriarch Pierbattista Pizzaballa: 2nd Sunday of Christmas, Year C, 2022

Published: December 31 Fri, 2021

Meditation of Patriarch Pierbattista Pizzaballa: 2nd Sunday of Christmas, Year C, 2022 Available in the following languages:

January 2nd, 2022

Second Sunday of Christmas

The prologue of John's Gospel, which we hear on this 2nd Sunday of the Christmas season, takes us to the essential, to the center of the Christian life. It takes us to the beginning (Jn 1:1), meaning not only what is at the beginning, but also what is at the foundation, what gives us the key to understanding everything else: in other words, the meaning of life.

First of all, it tells us in the last verse that Jesus came to reveal precisely this, as he came to reveal to us the face of God.

Then it adds that only Jesus can do this, because no one else has ever seen God (Jn 1:18).

In fact, in the beginning, man was created precisely for this: to see God, to be connected to Him. It was sin that obscured this relationship, that hid the Face of God from mankind. Thus it became necessary to again reveal the Face of God to them.

Jesus can do this for one simple reason: because He is God (Jn 1:18), and because He comes among us, because He takes on our flesh (Jn 1:14). In Him, the life of God and the life of man are united in one unique life.

That is why John can say that in Him was life, and that the life was the light of men (Jn 1:4).

This means that the light of our life, that is, our ultimate truth, cannot be found anywhere else but here, in this life that Jesus reveals to us. We are nothing else, we can find no other light to give meaning to what we go through, except in this life that holds together God's life and our own.

We could sum it all up in one word: relationship. True life, which Jesus reveals to us, is a life that experiences relationships to the fullest, a life that is a relationship, with God and with people. A life, all in all, that is the opposite of solitude, of isolation, a life that is a symbol of love and communion. This is how we were made.

And John affirms this when he says that "through him all things were made and without him nothing was made that has been made" (Jn 1:3). We could say that the model on which we were conceived and created is Christ, both man and God. The Father wanted us this way, he wanted us to be as his Son, as Jesus.

For this reason, John goes on to say, "to all who did receive him, he gave the right to become children of God" (Jn 1:12). In other words, all those who believe in this light, who trust and rejoice in this call, are given a new name by the Father, a new identity, which is what it was in the beginning, all along: that of simply being children. This is true life.

This life is not imposed by force, it does not compel anyone, it leaves us free. And in fact, in verses 10-11, the Evangelist says, almost with amazement, that this Life came into the world, but its people did not welcome it, did not recognize it, rejected it.

So then, what happened to the light when it was rejected? Did it die out?

No, says John, on the contrary: the darkness did not overcome it (Jn 1:5).

When this light was rejected, it became even brighter and laid an even more solid and secure foundation in our lives: in other words, it gave itself completely, to the end, to the cross.

This way of being in a relationship that God has chosen, this way of loving to the end, it is the light of men. It is the life of children.

So, at the beginning of this year, we are called to build a foundation in our lives, to recognize what lies in the beginning, what we want to build everything else on.

And if we want our life to truly be life, we cannot but choose this, the objective fact that God has given himself to us in Christ, without backing down from our refusal.

This is the only light that can truly illuminate our existence.

+Pierbattist

Translated from Italian