Have you ever received a gift that just keeps on giving? Sloganeers love to invoke this phrase in advertisements to entice gift givers with the promise of a gift so good that it will unleash its original sense of excitement long-term. In most cases we can spot the sales pitch, but in other cases we may have received gifts we cherish so much that they truly do feel like they “keep on giving.” It might be a cozy sweater you’ve worn until it’s pilled and tattered, or a painting you look at every day, given to you by a friend. Maybe it’s a tool or appliance that has never ceased to amaze you with its versatility, or a book you’ve read multiple times and can’t stop talking about.
Today’s gospel describes the gift of Jesus—his life, his work, his words, and his actions for us and for our salvation. “From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace,” the gospel writer gushes (John 1:16). These words flow from the witness of those who followed Jesus and experienced his presence as a gift that never stopped giving. As the disciples watched him transform the lives of person after person and community after community, they experienced ever new wonders at his side. The Gospel of John aims to pass the fullness of all these gifts to other communities, places, and times so that the grace made known in Christ may never stop giving.
Today the presence of Jesus Christ continues to give, pouring out grace upon grace on all those gathered, so that we might also become Christ’s witnesses in the world.
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