This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5 NRSV).
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. (John 1:5 NRSV).
The First Sunday after Christmas repeats the use of John 1:1-18 that we heard on Christmas Day. This year, this Sunday and the commemoration of St. John the Evangelist occurs on the same day. Because it is a Sunday, the Feast of St. John the Evangelist is replaced by the First Sunday after Christmas. At the same time, I think that both occurring the same day and date are prophetic in their own right.
The two themes that repeat themselves in the Gospel of John and his first letter is the Word and the Light. Jesus who is the Incarnate Word is inseparable from the Light. We see through the darkness because of the Light. We hear God because of the Incarnate Word.
As St. Benedict wrote in The Prologue to The Rule, his very first word was listen. Rearrange those letters and we get the word silent. Benedict tells us to “incline the ears of our heart.” He begins with these words because to know God more deeply, is to listen deeply to God speaking through The Word. To see God is to look for the Light.
May all of us look for the Light of God in love and holiness in our many relationships. May we listen to the Incarnate Word so we may know God in our hearts. May we respond by what we hear in our hearts, so that others may see things from God’s point of view. It is a contemplative experience and quite mystical.
Jesus, new beginning, heavenly bread, living water, we hear the word of life, we see and grasp the truth; help us to proclaim it. Amen. (A New Zealand Prayer Book, p.694).
Br. Anselm Philip King-Lowe, n/OSB