Weekly Missionary Reflection
Sunday, 25 December 2022
Isa. 52:7-10; Ps. 98:1,2-3ab,3cd-4,5-6; Heb. 1:1-6; John 1:1-18 (long) or John 1:1-5.9-14 (short)
Merry Christmas beloved missionaries,
We rejoice for today is Christmas, the celebration of Jesus Christ’s birth. To celebrate this Christmas, let us ponder the reading of the mass on Christmas day which is quoted from the book of Isaiah, the letters to the Hebrews, and the Gospel of John.
The mass on Christmas day has left the reading of the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem and now is getting into deeper contemplation of His birth as the Word who becomes a human to do the salvation. The three readings in Christmas mass direct our focus to the incarnation mystery of Jesus. The scripture readings wish to tell that Jesus who was born into the world is the manifestation of the real and saving God.
The first reading from the book of Isaiah asks us to rejoice for we have the peace and good news of the coming God who reigns. The book of Isaiah says that the coming of the reigning God is the salvation work for all nations throughout the world. The coming of Jesus is universal salvation. He comes as a King of peace and the Savior.
The second reading from the letter to the Hebrews explains that God has spoken in partial and various ways to Israel’s people through the prophets. In these last days, He speaks through His beloved Son, Jesus Christ. The letters to the Hebrews also tell that Jesus was involved in the creation of the universe. It says that Jesus is the glory and imprint of God. The presence of Jesus is the purification of the sins and afterward, He returns back to the Father in His initial glory.
The Gospel of John reading on Christmas day presents the identity of Jesus. Jesus who was born of Mary (the mass of Christmas Eve) and born spiritually in the heart of the faithful (Christmas mass) is described as the Word, Life, and Light. He is the Word that is the source of life and bestows the light that makes humans know the Father and bestows eternal life. Whoever comes to Him will have the path of light to God and eternal life. Those who come to Him will not be overcome by the darkness as it has been dispelled by the Light, Jesus. The power of darkness is defeated by the power of Jesus.
According to John, the word “world” refers to the place where the power of darkness dwells, the power that is against the divine presence. Those are places where the divine light is shining and the light is not defeated by the power of darkness. Jesus as the light is contrasted with the darkness represented by Jesus’ opponents who reject Him and would later be responsible for His death. The Jewish people might think they have gained victory by putting Jesus to death, however, His resurrection proves that no darkness can defeat the light. Now we, whoever we are, who strive for a better world mean we have chosen to follow the Word and Light.
Christmas is the good news, a celebration of peace, and a remembrance of the incarnation of Jesus, the only Son of God. It is a gift that we should be grateful for. We are initially the receiver of the good news, but then we have to become the herald of the good news. May the faith in Jesus the Word, Life, and Light make our presence a blessing for everybody we meet. (NW)
(RD. M Nur Widipranoto – National Director of Pontifical Mission Society)
DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER
Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy, and sorrow in unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the salvation of the world. May the Holy Spirit animating Jesus, also be my guidance and strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus, and the Church, in particular, I present my prayer for our Pope and apostle prayer of Indonesian Church of this month:
For the purpose of Universal Churches: Volunteers of the Non-Governmental Organization
We pray that the non-governmental organizations committed to human development may find individuals who are dedicated to social welfare and relentlessly endeavor to build international cooperation.
For the purpose of Indonesian Churches: Cultivating the moderate moderate
We pray that the Church could build and foster the attitude of being moderate and tolerant to her people, while keep being alert to the threat of fundamentalism and radicalism from both outside and inside of the Church.