The opening 18 verses of the Gospel of St. John remain, to the best of my knowledge, the most profound brief meditation on the mystery of God taking our human nature to Himself:“”In the Beginning was the Word,” who is both God and with God. “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we have beheld His glory… The true light, who enlightens every soul, was coming into the world….The only begotten God, who is ever in the bosom of the Father,” has “interpreted God to us.” We who trust in God-in-Christ, who respond with “faith working through love,” gradually become like the One we behold in faith.
I often wonder how men and women—and children—can live with minds closed to the reality of God. “If the light is dark within you, how great is the darkness,” said Jesus. Some of us may have experienced a period in our lives when we lived without genuine faith that opens us to divine Presence. If you had such an episode, you know how utterly dark, miserable, painful it is. Without awareness of presence of the living God in a human soul, one is driven to find substitutes: over-work, over-drink, over-play, constant “relaxing” to escape the sheer boredom and mental emptiness of the human life apart from the Light of God dwelling within. All the burdens of existence, of human life in this world, bear down very heavily on the man, woman, or child who has lost contact with the living God. It is truly tragic and horrible to see the unraveling of a life in this condition.
On the Feast of Epiphany, we thank God for the ever-renewing, ever-invigorating gift of faith, of “Christ in us, the hope of glory.” To the human being living Christ, living “I-in-you and you-in-me,” all of our burdens are bearable, and darkness gradually yields to the penetrating light.