In today’s first reading, we hear:
God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all.
We are still basking in the Christmas season, celebrating the birth of our savior just three short days ago. Jesus the light of the world shines through our darkness. The brilliance of colorful lights and candles continue to shine throughout our neighborhoods, homes and churches. Our Jewish sisters and brothers celebrate Hanukkah, the eight-day wintertime “festival of lights,” with a nightly menorah lighting, special prayers and fried foods. Hanukkah means ‘dedication’ and is named because it celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple.
There is so much darkness present in our world these days. It seems wars, famine, droughts, homelessness, poverty, racism, daily violence in our neighborhoods and cities can be overwhelming! Remembering the tragic deaths of the Holy Innocents who died at the hands of a devious tyrant brings to mind the dark days many people past and present experience because of rampant corruption and evil.
GOD is light, and with God there is no darkness at all!
This is the hopeful message of Bethlehem! Jesus brings light to any darkness we may be experiencing! For me, Bethlehem hope and promise has come in many ways during this special time of Advent and Christmas. The look of joy and gladness on the faces of our homebound and sick when we sang carols to them brightened the evening for all of us. Gathering each evening for vespers, hearing the scriptures proclaimed, sharing times of how the light of Christ was present in our lives and praying for those in need gave us Advent hope and promise. The opportunity to spend quality time visiting with friends and family near and far, to see the light of Christ and know that God is making our lives a little brighter during these days has been a gift to be treasured.
May the light of Christ continue to guide us and dispel the darkness we may encounter. In turn may we share that light with those who walk in darkness unable to see the life-giving light of Christ. A Blesses New Year to All!
Theresa Secord retired as a Pastoral Associate at St. Agnes Parish, Louisville, Kentucky.