Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross in Green Bay, WI

Reflection for Dec. 25, 2017

by Sister Laura Zelten

The Gospel for Christmas Day may surprise you. This reading is not one of the familiar Nativity narratives. Rather, this Gospel is the opening section of John’s Gospel, which begins with: “In the beginning was the Word.”

This first chapter of John's Gospel has inspired more theological writing than any other chapter of the Bible. John's Gospel begins with powerful words that make us think about who God is and what God is up to in the person of Jesus Christ.

Christmas is about light in the darkness. Picture a single candle. The background is black but in the center there's a small flame, brilliantly shining.  Christ is our light. As St. John says, "The light shone in the darkness and the darkness could not overcome it." There is a kind of boldness to the light. It lives in the darkness but the darkness cannot overcome it.  And maybe that's the thing. Maybe that's the Gospel writer's point. The light doesn't eliminate the darkness; the light is there helping to change the situation, making it better by being a constant, faithful presence.   This, I think, is the message of the Incarnation, the story behind the story that we will tell each other this day. God enters into the darkness to sit alongside of us as a caring advocate, a loving presence -- God with us -- Emmanuel.  God climbs right into the darkest places to be with us; in that holy and luminous action, we find reason to hope.

So, wherever there is darkness in your life, anywhere in our world, we can be absolutely sure that our God, our Emmanuel, is there, too -- a Light in our darkness. And because we are in relationship with God who is Light, THE Source of the Light, we, too, are called to be Light.


Beautiful reflection, Sr. I love it! Merry Christmas!

Thank You Sister!, and to the Sisters of St. Francis!, a bold candle of light for me all of my life!
Shine On & to all a Blessed Merry Christmas!
Love, Michael V

I love it too, well said! Luminous indeed; Merry Christmas everyone!

ONE Light ... ONE Light ... growing brighter ...
ONE All-Consuming Light ...A Blaze of Glory ...
Ablaze of Glory ... A Blaze ... Ablaze ...
God from God; Light from Light ... Humanity Ablaze in God ...
Humanity A Blaze with God ... JESUS, COME! ...

A constant, faithful presence...thank you, Laura, for the "present" you are to me today.

Your reflection, Laura, is so well expressed. It sounds easy TO BE THE LIGHT. We all know the struggle to be constant and patient.


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