Fr Louis Reflection - 2nd Sunday of Christmas Year B.

The Greek word ‘Logos’ means ‘the Word’ and St John uses it in his gospel as a title for Jesus Christ.

So we read:

‘In the beginning was the logos (the word),

and the logos (the word) was with God, [there was not a time when He did not exist]

and the logos (the word) was God. [there was not a time when He did not exist]

It was (the logos, the word) in the beginning with God.’ [the 2nd. Person of the Trinity. - God the Son]

Those are the first four lines of John’s gospel, today’s gospel, and to those of us who recall the celebration of the Mass before the 2nd. Vatican Council (1962-1965) will know that those words (vv 1-14 of Johns’ gospel) were known as ‘The Last Gospel’ and were recited by the priest before the final dismissal at the end of Mass. Other gospels were used, but John’s gospel was the only one I ever heard at Mass. In brief, this beginning of John’s gospel connects the sacrifice of redemption (that is the sacrifice of the Mass) with the mystery of the Incarnation of the Word, (the logos – the birth of Jesus) and our adoption as sons and daughters in Christ. John’s Gospel continues by saying that ‘all things were made by Him, and without him, not one thing came to be that [subsequently] has come to be.

When we read or listen to this gospel we are saying that we believe in God the Father, and God the Son – the 2nd. Person of the Holy Trinity. We recite it in the Creed, and our parents, God-parents and other witnesses recited it at our Baptism.

The ‘Last Gospel’ was a fairly recent introduction at the end of Mass being added during the XVI century – I suspect at the Council of Trent (1545 – 1563) convened to challenge heresies which were evident during the European Reformation. For me, the beginning of John’s Gospel is the rationale, the reality, the belief that The Father and the Son are one, and are one with the Holy Spirit, ..... the Trinity. Just to read those 14 verses is an act of faith, and affirms our belief that through our Baptism we become ‘one’ in the body of Christ, Son of God, and Saviour of the world.

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