“In the beginning was the Word… And the Word became flesh and lived among us.”
The world is soaked with Christ. Christ fills and saves every thing, all creation, not just a few “holy” people. The seed of these promises is buried in this central opening verse from the Gospel of John: “the Word became flesh.”
Over many centuries, the Western and Eastern Churches interpreted this verse differently. The West understood “the Word made flesh” as Jesus Christ. The East, as creation itself and all of it. Every thing is God’s “flesh,” from atoms to zebras, plus all human beings and, yes, Jesus Christ.
How impoverished we are, when we take Christianity to be only what it was where I grew up! And how small Jesus becomes.
Astronomers give us a window on an infinite universe. And here the Gospel of John offers another window: on a Christ who is at least that big too. Christ—and Christ’s love and saving presence—is truly universal!
You’ll get to dig more into this in February and March through a St. Paul “practice group” on Richard Rohr’s The Universal Christ. I say “practice group” because it will also be an introduction to the practice of contemplative prayer.
For now, in this new year, ask God to give you new eyes to see Christ in every thing and every one.