"Nails, spear shall pierce Him through
The Cross be borne for me, for you
Hail, hail the Word made flesh
The Babe the Son of Mary"
—What Child is This?
"The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory..." So says Saint John's opening chapter. The Word was made flesh...The Eternal Word was spoken into time, was made into finite man, frail flesh. What did the Son of God gain by this? Insults, rejection, and threats of stoning. Nails, thorns, and a spear thrust into His side. He who was Light and Life was dealt a death-blow. Yet the darkness cannot overcome the light. Death is swallowed up in life. The Word sounding and resounding in time and space does not come back void. That Word is robust, full of Truth and grace.
Many times it seems that "hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth goodwill to men." That God's promises and gifts are puny next to the prince of the power of the air. However, when Paul says that death is swallowed up in life—and John truthfully proclaims that the darkness is expelled by the Light, unable to overcome it—we see that God's gifts are rich and vibrant next to shadowy, gnarled phantoms. We still live like a people sitting in darkness, trapped into thinking there is a monster in the shade...But the Light is dawning—more full of life, rich hues, and Truth than the paltry darkness that seeks to blind our seeing eyes. The Light is real. The promises are solid. The Hope of our souls was made flesh and He tabernacles among us. Now—and forevermore.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh!