word made flesh

While all things were in quiet silence and that night was in the midst of her swift course, your almighty Word, O Lord, leaped out of your royal throne, alleluia. 

     –   antiphon on the Benedictus, Christmas Day


Quick summery of Christmas celebrations:   We celebrated mass early on Christmas eve, not long after Vespers.  We sang first at the creche and processed through the house and out the kitchen door and to the chapel: greens and red berries and incense and music.  After mass we sat by the fire and told funny stories. Two of my sons and a future daughter-in-law were with us for Christmas so our celebrations were very jolly indeed.  Finally, as we were about to drop, the infant Jesus appeared in the creche scene as we sang one more hymn, and we all went to bed.  Other guests joined us for Christmas Day dinner: homemade tamales from our own corn, beans and rice (our own beans) our own cheese, our own tomatillo sauce and various assortments of other good things, including the strawberry dessert mentioned in a previous post – from our own strawberries.  On St. John’s Day we all went down to the city to visit the sisters there.  More singing and fun and free time. 

Now it is the “second Sunday” of Christmas, and it is quiet here. 

As we prepared to listen together to the Prologue of John’s Gospel (John 1:1-18) before mass, more than one of us thought of the “Cosmic Walk” the sisters do for retreats and conferences.  A reader unfolds the history of the universe according to the Big Bang theory, while a masked “dancer” moves through a maze lighting candles at appropriately measured milestones, for example, 14 billion years ago. That explosion of energy slows down, cools, differentiates;  with primal stars, light erupts and galaxies take shape.  Enormous stars made of the original hydrogen and helium consume themselves to create the other heavier atomic elements.”  And much later, “4 billion years ago. Gradually, within the oceans, more complex molecular arrangements take shape.  Amino acids form and finally, proteins.  The first simple cells are formed.  Earth awakens into life.”  And so on until humanity appears just at the slightest hair’s breadth at the end.


The effect of observing and then walking the candle-lit path is a sense of the vastness of time and the fragility and exceeding briefness of human existence and awe and wonder of human consciousness.  During the Gospel reading and sermon I played the ambient CD we use [Noisegate:Suspended Animation by Trevor Paglen] evoking all our past meditations and experiences with the Cosmic Walk. I also had leisure in the morning to think of my meditations on the “Tsefirot,” the divine emanations of G-d’s self-unfolding, described in Jewish mysticism. 

So the sermon came out something like this:

The Spheres of Reality Unfold.   

That unknown Love beyond that which is beyond

That unknowable Love behind that which is behind,      

       beyond and behind and before and after time and space:     

              in the sphere of the Holy One.  

In the beginning was the Word;

  The Word was in the sphere of G-d’s presence,

  And the Word was G-d.

The Word was present with G-d in the beginning.

 The Dark Love at the heart of Reality withdraws, contracts, unfolds, gives birth to the universe and light and the sphere of creation. 

Through This One all things came into being,

  And apart from This One not one thing came to be.

In the Word was life,

   That life will be humanity’s light.

This light shines on in the darkness,

   And darkness from the world will not overcome it.

 Now the sphere of creation unfolds itself, emanating the Divine Reality, giving birth to the Word in the world.   

The Word was coming into the world,

  The world was made through This One;

     And yet the world did not recognize it!

To his own he came;

  Yet his own people did not accept him.

But all those who did accept him

  He empowered to become G-d’s children.

That is, those who believe in his Name,

   transform …

   As if begotten not by blood, nor by carnal desire, nor by sin and human power,

        Rather, born of G-d!

 Those who recognize This One, turn toward the spheres emanating from beyond and behind.  They are born again, born of Reality and respond to the invitation to share in the Word made flesh. 

And the Word became flesh

   And tabernacled among us.

   And we have seen This One’s glory,

      The glory of an only child emanating from Divine Reality,

       Filled with enduring love.

 Each of us, in our own flesh may enter this sphere of invitation, into the unfolding Reality of grace upon grace . 

And of his fullness

   We have all had a share –

    Love in the place of love. 

 Enduring Love.  Empowering Love.  Love meeting us in our own body and soul,   drawing us with our sisters and brothers through the undulating, unfolding spheres  

    within the spheres of G-d with us in the Word,    

      through the spheres of the World,     

          the spheres of Creation,      

             the spheres of the Universe, 

                       we come to the Sphere of G-d and beyond into the beginning,           

                           the hidden realm of One.   

Thou art That.

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