Thought of the day
Thursday, December 31, 2015

The 7th Day in the Octave of Christmas

"The Word was the true light which enlightens everyone coming into the world"

“What we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we looked upon and touched with our hands concerning the Word of life, we proclaim now to you” (1Jn 1,1-3)... The incarnate Word was made known to the apostles in two ways: first of all they recognised him by sight, as receiving knowledge of the Word from the Word himself; secondly by hearing, this time by receiving knowledge of the Word from the witness of John the Baptist. 

Concerning the Word, John the Baptist first of all affirms that: “We have seen his glory”... For Saint John Chrysostom these words are connected with what precedes in John's Gospel: “The Word became flesh”. What the evangelist means is: the Incarnation has bestowed on us the blessing, not merely of becoming children of God, but of seeing his glory. For indeed, weak and feeble eyes cannot of themselves look at the light of the sun, but when it shines through a cloud or some other opaque body, then they can do so. Before the incarnation of the Word human minds were incapable of themselves of beholding the light “that enlightens everyone”. But so that they might not be deprived of the joy of seeing him, the Light himself, the Word of God, desired to be clothed with flesh so that we might be able to see him. 

Thus people “turned toward the desert, and lo!, the glory of the Lord appeared in a cloud” (Ex 16,10), namely the Word of God in flesh... And Saint Augustine comments that, so that we might be able to see God, the Word healed men's eyes by making a healing eye-ointment of his flesh... That is why, immediately after saying: “The Word became flesh”, the evangelist adds: “And we saw his glory” as if to say that, no sooner had the ointment been applied, than our eyes were healed... This is the glory that Moses desired to see but of which he saw only a shadow and a symbol. The apostles, on the other hand, saw his majesty itself.

Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)