Let us not be afraid to admit our failures, but also to embrace the freedom of going forward.
Today’s readings can be found here. Read Fr. Epicoco’s brief reflections on the daily Mass readings, Monday through Saturday, here. For Sunday Mass reading commentary from Fr. Rytel-Andrianik, see here.
The great examination of conscience that accompanies the last day of the year is illuminated by the dense words of the prologue of John’s Gospel. This Gospel passage is among the richest in light, and for that very reason we struggle to keep our eyes open to all that it wants to teach us.
Perhaps, however, there might be two lessons we can consider. The first concerns the ways we have failed to be open this past year. How many opportunities have we missed! How often have we failed to be welcoming! How much laziness or selfishness has made us close back in on ourselves!
“He was in the world, and the world came to be through him, but the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him.”
We shouldn’t be afraid to admit what we’ve failed to be open to; indeed, from this very awareness we can learn to give thanks and to waste no more opportunities, for those who are open to welcoming God’s presence experience the miracle of being children:
“But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision but of God.”
Children have basically one characteristic: They are free. And they can only be so because they feel loved, they feel they belong to someone, they feel safe. Children participate in the things of their Father. If their Father is God then children participate in his very divinity. This doesn’t mean that they have superpowers, but that they participate in what God is in his Essence: God is Love. The children thus become a reflection of this Love.
Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.