You know it has only hit me today that on this the final day of the year, we hear what used to be called the Last Gospel.
In the beginning was the Word:
and the Word was with God
and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things came to be,
not one thing had its being but through him.
All that came to be had life in him
and that life was the light of men,
a light that shines in the dark,
a light that darkness could not overpower.
A man came, sent by God.
His name was John.
He came as a witness,
as a witness to speak for the light,
so that everyone might believe through him.
He was not the light,
only a witness to speak for the light.
The Word was the true light
that enlightens all men;
and he was coming into the world.
He was in the world
that had its being through him,
and the world did not know him.
He came to his own domain
and his own people did not accept him.
But to all who did accept him
he gave power to become children of God,
to all who believe in the name of him
who was born not out of human stock
or urge of the flesh
or will of man
but of God himself.
The Word was made flesh, he lived among us,
and we saw his glory,
the glory that is his
as the only Son of the Father,
full of grace and truth.
John appears as his witness. He proclaims:
'This is the one of whom I said:
He who comes after me ranks before me
because he existed before me'.
Indeed, from his fulness we have, all of us, received –
yes, grace in return for grace,
since, though the Law was given through Moses,
grace and truth have come through Jesus Christ.
No one has ever seen God;
it is the only Son, who is nearest to the Father's heart,
who has made him known.
The Gospel that we heard today is a great reminder that today is a day set aside for thanksgiving. In the Extraordinary Rite of the Holy Mass when the Priest has given the final blessing, he goes to the north side again to read the Last Gospel. It was once part of the thanksgiving after Mass. It reminds us as we read it, that the Eucharist is truly a continuation of the Incarnation itself. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God . . . and the Word was made Flesh and dwelt amongst us, and we saw His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth".
The greatest way for us to give thanks to God is to attend Holy Mass, daily if possible, and receive the flesh and blood of His Son in a worthy manner i.e. free from mortal sin.
Múlier, ecce fílius tuus, Totus Tuus!