My sisters and brothers in the Lord,
Welcome to our final week of Disciples Together on the Way. Thanks be to God! And thanks to you for joining me on this pilgrimage over the past year. It’s been a privilege to have your company as, together, we’ve attempted to acquire the habits of being a disciple of Jesus Christ, our Alpha and our Omega.
Hence, appropriately, we end with the person Jesus Christ as explained to the world in Chapter 1 or, as it is often known, the Prologue of the Gospel of Saint John. My challenge this week is to read the first 14 verses of this chapter at Christmas Dinner and then take a few moments to prayerfully ponder its significance.
Saint John wrote his Gospel in the latter half of the 1st century in the ancient Greek city of Ephesus where he and the Blessed Virgin Mary had established a home. It was in this same city seven centuries prior that the Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, had coined both the term and concept of logos. He defined logos as the principle of order or knowledge in the Universe. “All entities come to be in accordance with this Logos,” said Heraclitus.
Hence in the Prologue of his Gospel and writing to the Hellenic or Greek world, Saint John makes this remarkable claim: The Logos was made flesh, and dwelt among us! In English, we usually translate the Greek word logos as “word” but, arguably, this doesn’t do justice to the breadth and boldness of Saint John’s assertion. It explains why this particular passage was read for centuries towards the conclusion every Mass as a “Last Gospel”.
Hence at Christmas Dinner I ask that you read the Gospel of Saint John Chapter 1, verses 1 through 14. Choose one person to read this passage and then have a few moments of silence so that you can really absorb God’s words. Have it read a second time, and after a few moments of silent reflection, speak what comes to your heart. Be sure to give ample opportunity to others present to share what has entered their heart as well.
Okay, here ends this year of Disciples Together on the Way. Our pilgrimage towards God continues, however, and it continues as Disciples Together on the Way. Please be assured of my prayers. I would ask that you return the kindness. Thank you.
As the 19th century French writer, Leon Bloy, said: “The only real sadness, the only real failure, the only great tragedy in life, is not to become a saint.” So, let’s become saints. Together.
And May God bless you with His grace throughout the Christmas season and beyond, in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Yours in Christ,
+ Earl Boyea
Bishop of Lansing