He Came to Laugh and Cry with Us
(Meditation on Jn 1:14)
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
No better words to tell the truth about the coming of God the Almighty in human nature into this world than what Saint John the Evangelist has written in the Fourth Gospel, Chapter I, verse 14, which reads, “And the Word became flesh and made His dwelling place among us.“
Who is “the Word”? The Word, as already mentioned at the beginning of the Gospel, is the Word of God and God Himself, “the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Christian doctrine on the Most Holy Trinity teaches that the Second Divine Person is the Word through Whom God, by saying just “the word”, created the universe, including the human race, as clearly stated by the Gospel author, “all things came to be through Him, and without Him nothing came to be.”
The good news for you and me today and right here, dear Sisters and Brothers, is: this Word, this Second Divine Person, this Almighty Creator, this invisible God, has come into the world.
Why and what for?
Before you can find the right answer to such questions, let me first ask you this question: what would you react if somebody comes to you, sitting at your side, holding your hand with tenderness, and whispers into your ear words of comfort and encouragement when you feel so lonely and helpless? Of course, you would not ask stupid questions as “why” and “what for” but you just burst into tears for happiness and thankfulness.
This is exactly what happened in the history of salvation. After having fallen into the slavery to sin, the human race became so lonely and helpless. We do know how serious and damaging the evil consequences of sin are. Because of sin, we are separated from God, the very source of what we have and what we are. Deeper and deeper have we sunk into the bottomless ocean of suffering and death. Generations and generations of us have cried out for help, hoping that someday someone would come to our rescue.
Finally God, the very God Whom we sinners offended, has come to save us from death.
Now let me tell you how God came to deliver us from the forces of evil. Rescue workers often use tools such as a long rope or rod to pull victims out of danger. This is the wise practice to prevent the rescuer from falling into danger together with the victim. But God did not act as people wisely should. He came and saw us sinking. Not even a word to say, not even one second to think twice, He jumped down into the deep ocean and embraced and held us tight in His loving and caring arms, whispering into our ears, “Do not be afraid, children. Here I come with you. I will save you. I will take you home safe and sound.”
This is what Saint John means when he wrote, “And the Word became flesh and made His dwelling place among us.“ This is also what Saint Paul means when he wrote, “Christ has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin.” He, Himself sinless, came and shared with us, sinners, the evil consequences of sin. He came as one among us, victims of the forces of evil, to rescue us by suffering with us and for us. This He did not consider convincing enough to prove His love for us, He still laid down His own life so that we may be brought back to life.
So, today, starting from the Birthday of Christ Jesus, the Savior, the Son of God, and God Himself, we have somebody so loving and caring, so understanding and compassionate, to come and laugh and cry with us.
By Fr. Francis Nguyen, O.P.