Christmas – Year B

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.
All that came to be had life in him
and that life was the light of men,
a light that shines in the dark,
a light that darkness could not overpower.

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,
to all who believe in the name of him
who was born not out of human stock
or urge of the flesh
or will of man
but of God himself.
The Word was made flesh,
he 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.

John 1:1-5. 9-14

Christmas Day celebrates the birth of our saviour, Jesus Christ. The season of Christmas however extends to mid January, ending with the return to Ordinary Time on the Baptism of the Lord.

During this time, we recall and celebrate a number of significant events in the life of the Holy Family and the infant Jesus. In fact, the Sunday after the Feast of Christmas, is the celebration of the Feast of the Holy Family. A highly significant feast that celebrates the sacredness of family life and the importance of being family to each other. The family, for the Church, is the core community of faith and is where faith is nurtured and nourished. We are also reminded at this time of Christmas, that the Holy Family faced persecution and sought refuge in another country.

The first day of the New Year, heralds yet another feast, the Feast of Mary, Mother of God. If Jesus is God who took on human form, a core belief of Christianity, then Mary must be the Theotokos – the God bearer, a title given to Mary in the Orthodox Churches and the Catholic Church, which uses the term, Mother of God.

The other great feast within the season of Christmas, is the Feast of the Epiphany. This Feast celebrates the coming of the “Wise Men from the East”, often referred to as “The Magi”. Whilst the Shepherds in the fields nearby, were the first to hear the Good News of the saviours birth and accept it, the birth of the saviour is truly announced the whole world, with the arrival of the Magi. These visitors from distant lands came to pay homage to the Christ child, indicating that the message of the Christ child would be heard far and wide.

The season of Christmas is certainly a time for celebrating. It is also a time for reflection, for in the season of Christmas, there are many lessons for life in the modern world.

David Ivers
Specialist: Religious Leadership