Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Daily - 12/30/09

John 1:1-18

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 He was in the beginning with God.

3 All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be

4 through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race;

5 the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

6 A man named John was sent from God.

7 He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him.

8 He was not the light, but came to testify to the light.

9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

10 He was in the world, and the world came to be through him, but the world did not know him.

11 He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him.

12 But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name,

13 who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man's decision but of God.

14 And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father's only Son, full of grace and truth.

15 John testified to him and cried out, saying, "This was he of whom I said, 'The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.'"

16 From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace,

17 because while the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

18 No one has ever seen God. The only Son, God, who is at the Father's side, has revealed him.

When we first started the Friday morning bible study, there were only four of us, and we spent three weeks on these 18 verses. So there's a lot to cover here. I want to focus on just one verse:

14 And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father's only Son, full of grace and truth.

I used to read this and think of how wonderful it must have been to have seen Christ walking around, and witness the events of the Gospels first hand. .

Eventually I began to see that this isn't just John's testimony -- it is mine also. Christ has become flesh and made his dwelling among us. We see him in the flesh every time we go to mass, and we intimately experience his grace and truth through the Eucharist -- in a way that only Catholics can understand.

In addition to being among us, He is inside each of us. He has made his dwelling inside us. He's right there, all the time. It is up to me to remember that, to make myself a fitting dwelling place for Him, and to connect with Him as often as I can.

Lately I've been studying the words of St. Teresa of Avila on this subject. She speaks of Christ as a guest, and of our souls as a dwelling place for him. Here's an example:

Do you suppose it is of little importance that a soul which is often distracted should come to understand this truth and to find that, in order to speak to its Eternal Father and to take its delight in Him, it has no need to go to Heaven or to speak in a loud voice? However quietly we speak, He is so near that He will hear us: we need no wings to go in search of Him but have only to find a place where we can be alone and look upon Him present within us. Nor need we feel strange in the presence of so kind a Guest; we must talk to Him very humbly, as we should to our father, ask Him for things as we should ask a father, tell Him our troubles, beg Him to put them right, and yet realize that we are not worthy to be called His children.

(St. Teresa of Avila, Way of Perfection, Chapter 28)