Body and Blood of Christ


Drinking Well

2nd Sunday 4th January 2009

Life, Light and Love


     In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all  might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh  or of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father's only son, full of grace and truth.

John 1:1-18



This Gospel reminds us of three of the most important things in the world. If you have a look at each of them I think you will be encouraged. Our parents gave us many things: food and clothes, shelter and protection, time and attention. But the very first thing they gave us was life.  What a wonderfully precious gift that is!  When St. Cyril of Alexandria was dying he said something that is remembered fifteen hundred years later: “Once I was not. I came to be. And I will live forever.” Not that long ago even the oldest among us was not there at all. Then we were born. No matter what happens now, through this life into the next we will live forever. Most of us take our lives for granted; if we are in good health we hardly notice it. Indeed if we face difficulties or suffer from anxiety or depression, we may feel that our lives are a burden. Sometimes it is when people face a life-threatening illness that they see how precious life is and they treasure the time they have.

Which means most to you, life, light or love? The majority of us would probably say love. Pope Benedict took the world a little by surprise in the opening page of his first encyclical on Love. He listed various kinds of love: love of country, love of one's profession, love between friends, love of work, love between parents and children, love between family members, love of neighbour and love of God. Then he went on to say: “Amid this multiplicity of meanings, however, one in particular stands out: love between man and woman, where body and soul are inseparably joined and human beings glimpse an apparently irresistible promise of happiness. This would seem to be the very epitome of love; all other kinds of love immediately seem to fade in comparison.” In the course of the encyclical he showed that all forms of genuine love are basically one. This is something we sense ourselves: we are moved when see real love in any of its forms. 

Light is precious too: sunlight, moonlight, electric light, candle light.  God’s first words in the Bible were “Let there be light.” Then God saw that the light was good. What a treasure is our gift of sight to enjoy the light! There are other kinds of light. There is the light of knowledge.  We see this light dawning in small children as they ask hundreds of questions about everything around them, “What is this? What is it for? Where did it come from?” An even brighter light is the light of faith which enables us to believe in God and to make sense of our lives and world.  

Jesus is life, light and love    
As we ponder our experience of life, light and love, we get a deeper sense of what Jesus himself is like. He is the Word of God who was there from the beginning. He is the one who designed and created the life our parents gave us. He gives life and he sustains it and he inspires the life of faith and love we try to live. He came into this world not only that we should have life, but that we should have it to the full.

The Gospel describes Jesus as light: he is the “true light that enlightens everyone.” The Bible tells us that “God is love.” Jesus gave us a new commandment to love one another as he has loved us, and he showed us that there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Brendan Clifford.

Prayer   Psalm 35
Your love, Lord, reaches to heaven,
your truth to the skies.
Your justice is like God’s mountain,
your judgments like the deep.
To mortals and beasts you give protection.
O Lord, how precious is your love.
My God, the children of the earth
find refuge in the shelter of your wings.
They feast on the riches of your house;
they drink from the streams of your delight.
In you is the source of life
and in your light we see light. 


Quill Pen

Lectio Divina

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