Encountering God and World in Scriptures

Light of Truth

Lectio Divina – 40

Fr Martin Kallunkal

“The Word became flesh, he lived among us, and we saw his glory, the glory that he has from the Father as only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth. John witnesses to him. He proclaims: ‘This is the one of whom I said: He who comes after me has passed ahead of me because he existed before me.’ Indeed, from his fullness we have, all of us, received — one gift replacing another, for the Law was given through Moses, grace and truth have come through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; it is the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.” (Jn. 1:14-18).

As the very first verse of the Gospel of John tells us, the Word, which was in the beginning, was with God and was God Himself. Therefore, when it is stated, as we have just read, that the Word became flesh it simply means that God became flesh. Flesh in the Biblical language does not mean flesh without soul. When the Bible refers to a part, it actually refers to the whole. For instance, when the prophet says, “And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it’ (Isa. 40:5), he means to say that the whole humanity shall see the glory of God. In addition, using flesh as a symbol of humanity, the Spirit who authored the scriptures is emphasizing the fact that God entered into the full flow of humanity. God in the Bible is not to be reduced to a noble idea nor a sublime state of mind. God, who became human, also lived among us. Thus, in Jesus, God is truly present in the world. The tent God put up among humans in the Old Testament times (Sir 24:10) is now the person of Jesus. Put simply, God the Word is identical with Jesus. If Israelites could not even look upon the face of Moses when it shone with glory after he spoke with God (Ex 34:25-35), how could people in the later times look at the Word Incarnate? None can stand the unbearable brightness of God the Light. This is one of the reasons why our good God manifests Himself through the veil of human flesh. In Jesus, God chooses humanity as a veil behind which He dwells in the world. It is in and through humanity that the Word and world relate with each other. Another important point that the Gospel proclaims is that “the Law was given through Moses, grace and truth have come through Jesus Christ.” The contrast is very pertinent. Jesus’s revelation as well as the gift of grace and truth are infinitely superior. Moses could give the commandments of God to God’s chosen people whereas Jesus shares God’s very life with all humans.

Dear Lord, Jesus, I adore you and thank you. You are my God, and, yet, my brother as well. In you, our fallen humanity is redeemed and divinized. You made us confident and respectable. Jesus, I thank you for giving me an intuitive knowledge that every human being in all human conditions is God’s preferred dwelling place on earth. Yes, Lord, as St Augustine rightly taught: after the Inhabitant his house, after God his temple, after the Founder his city.”

Contemplate the body as the house of God. You are the caretaker of God’s house.

Often we give suggestions and commands to others, only to find that they fail to realize them fully. The next time you ask others to do something, show them how to do it and share with them the resources with which you did it. Try not to stop at being an example; reach out to others to capacitate them, as Jesus did.

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