2nd Sunday of Christmas
3rd January 2021
Year B – Psalter week 2
Over the Christmas season we have been contemplating the wonderful truth that “the Word became flesh.” Today’s readings draw upon the same truth and focus also upon the Wisdom of God dwelling among us. The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible has a very helpful explanation of the meaning of the “Word”, and how this is linked to “Wisdom”: “Another biblical tradition links the Word of God with the Wisdom of God, who was depicted as God’s eternal companion (Proverbs 8:23; Ecclesiasticus 24:9), the craftsman who labored alongside God at creation (Proverbs 8:30; Wisdom 7:22), and the one who remains a source of life for the world (Proverbs 8:35).” It goes on to explain how John the Evangelist pulled several biblical traditions together “to say something entirely new: the Word of God is not so much an abstract principle or an audible power as it is a Divine Person: God the Son (Revelation 19:13). In summary, God the Son, who is the eternal Word and Wisdom of God has become a human being in the person of Jesus Christ.
There is also a connection we can make between God the Son and his involvement in both the first creation and the new creation. As the Ignatius Bible puts it, “This eternal Word, once a mediator of creation, has now become a mediator of salvation through his Incarnation.” John the Evangelist explains how through the Word of God “all things came to be, not one thing had its being but through him.” Nothing in our universe has come into existence except through God the Son who, as we have seen, is both the Word and Wisdom of God. Similarly, salvation and a share in the new life of the resurrection can only come through Jesus Christ, the “one mediator between God and man.” As Saint Paul also says of Jesus in his Epistle to the Colossians: “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible… all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the Church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” As we have been born into this world through the Son of God, so we can only be re-born into eternal life through the Son of God. As the Ignatius Bible puts it when explaining Saint Paul’s understanding: “Jesus Christ is the divine Wisdom of God that is given to believers through the inpouring of the Spirit.”
The fact that Jesus is the Word and Wisdom of God, that all things have been created through him, and that eternal life with God is only possible in him, reminds us of where our true life resides. After what has been an extremely difficult 2020, we hope that this year will be better. Many hope, it seems, that life will return to something of how it was prior to the pandemic. For Christians, however, I would propose that our hope would be that we continue, as always, to deepen our life in Christ.
If there was one particular fruit for me in 2020, it was that I felt a call to go deeper in prayer and to try to detach more from this present life, at least from some of the comforts and pleasures that I had grown used to. I therefore pray that we will continue to depend ever more fully on the Lord and upon his power, and with the gift of the “spirit of wisdom and perception” that Saint Paul mentions in our second reading, to come to see more clearly, that while we live in this transient and passing world, our true life “is hidden with Christ in God.”
May the prayer of Saint Paul in our second reading be for each of us this year: “May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a spirit of wisdom and perception of what is revealed, to bring you to full knowledge of him. May he enlighten the eyes of your mind so that you can see what hope his call holds for you, what rich glories he has promised the saints will inherit.”
Have a blessed New Year in the Lord!
Download Fr Andy’s homily here
 John 1:14.
 Ignatius Catholic Study Bible – New Testament, Second Catholic Edition RSV, 2010, p. 161.
 Ibid (cf. John 1:14; 3:17).
 John 1:3
 1 Timothy 2:5.
 Colossians 1:15-20
 Ignatius Catholic Study Bible, p. 286 (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:24, 1:30; 2:7-13; Ephesians 1:17; Colossians 2:3).
 Colossians 3:3.
Sunday Message and Look
Download this weeks Sunday Message and Look (for our younger parishioners) by clicking on the images, for all the readings for this week, as well as the prayers during mass and the usual weekly thoughts and reflections.
Glory be to you, O Christ, proclaimed to the pagans. Glory be to you, O Christ, believed in by the world. Alleluia!