Voices ever ancient, ever new. Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas 2013.

“ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)

In commenting upon this verse from today’s Mass Readings, Origen of Alexandria writes:

“One will discover many different meanings of the expression [“beginning”] even in the Word of God. One meaning involves change that has to do with a way or a length, as revealed in Scripture, “The beginning of the right path is to do justice.” There is also a “beginning” of creation in the statement “In the beginning God made heaven and earth.” But I think what is meant is more clearly stated in Job, “This is the beginning of the Lord’s creation.”

We can also understand what is meant by the beginning of creation in Proverbs: “For God,” [Wisdom] says, “created me the beginning of his ways for his works.” But someone will say with good reason that the God of all things is clearly a beginning too, proposing that the Father is the beginning of the Son, and the Creator is the beginning of the things created and, in general, God is the beginning of the things that exist. And third, that from which something comes, as the underlying matter is thought to be a “beginning” by those who understand matter to be uncreated. In addition to these definitions, that “according to which” something is made, as according to its form, is also a “beginning.” Christ, for instance, is the beginning of those made according to the image of God.

There is also a beginning that pertains to doctrine where the apostle says, “Although, because of the time, you should be teachers, you need for someone to teach you again the rudiments of the beginning of the oracles of God.” Now there are two kinds of beginning pertaining to doctrine. One involves its nature, and the other its relation to us. We say that in nature Christ is the beginning of doctrine insofar as he is “the wisdom” and “power of God.” But in his relation to us the beginning of doctrine is “the Word became flesh,” that he might dwell among us who are able to receive him only in this way at first.” (Commentary on the Gospel of John, 1)

Almighty ever-living God,
Who in the Nativity of Your Son
established the beginning and fulfillment of all religion,
grant, we pray, that we may be numbered
among those who belong to Him,
in Whom is the fullness of human salvation.
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Glory to You Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning is now
and will be forever. Amen. Alleluia!