A Homily for the Second Sunday of Christmas
Grace to you and peace from God our Heavenly Father and Christ Jesus our Lord, the Word who was with God and was God in the beginning. Amen.
In the beginning, some thirteen billion years ago, the universe exploded into being from nothingness, the echo of the Big Bang still reverberating to this day. Through the æons, stars were forged in the cosmic furnaces, erupting forth as light in the darkness, burning brightly and dying in explosions, leading to the birth of new stars and planets. When life emerged on this, our home, it bore in itself the stuff of stars – as stars emerged and passed away, sewing the matter that would become this pale blue dot, so to did life rise and fall, returning dust to dust, a cycle of life and death giving way to new life. And even so, as humanity emerged, we were nurtured by this star-stuff – the air we breathe, the food we eat, the blood that pumps in our veins was forged in the same cosmic furnace as the stars. As physicist Neil DeGrasse-Tyson put it, “We are in the universe, and the universe is in us.”
In the beginning, when the earth was formless and void, the Spirit of God blew over the face of the primordial deep. At the very Word of God, creation emerged from nothingness, separating the heavens from the earth, the land from the sea, and calling forth life. In the fullness of time, the Lord God created humanity in the imago dei, divine image, forming our first parents from the dust of the earth and blowing divine breath into their lungs. The Image of God and the Lord’s holy breath is still in us, even as the seasons bring with them life and death and new life, and just as surely as we know that we, formed from ash and dust, shall return to ash and dust.
In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God and was God in the beginning. All things came into being through the Word – it is this Logos that called forth creation from nothingness. This is the very Light of God shining in the dark void. And in the fullness of time, this very Word became human. Truly, fully, wonderfully human. The One Through Whom the Universe Was Made now abides in the universe, the Creator in the Created.
There will come a time of rejection, of trial, of torture, of death. But the dark void of the grave shall not overcome the light. All of creation testifies to this cycle: life, death, and new life. Now comes the one who to whom creation sings: the One who, by his birth, brings light and new life, who by his death defeats death, who by his Resurrection opens the way of Everlasting Life!
We are in the universe, and the universe is in us. The Imago Dei resides in us. But more miraculous even than that is the miracle of Christ’s incarnation: the Divine Word, the very Image of God, assumed human flesh, became like us, that we may assume his divinity and become like Him! Tthe Word of God abides among us, and through our Baptism, incorporates us into his very Body! God with us, and we are in God!