December 21

Reflection

O Dawn of the East, Brightness of the Light Eternal and Sun of Justice,
come and enlighten them
that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death

The antiphon used today coincides with the winter solstice. We, in the northern hemisphere, are experiencing the shortest and darkest day of the year. From the depths of that darkness we call on Christ as the dawn, the light, the Sun of Justice. This is also the Fourth Sunday of Advent and, as Christmas draws nearer, the gospel reading at Mass focuses on Mary as Mother of Jesus. Reflecting on our world and the many situations that keep people suffering and in “the darkness and the shadow of death’, we can relate to the plea of the ancient prophets for One who would come and teach a new way of life that would be just and liberating; we can reflect on Jesus as source of the light that would brighten the world. Tomorrow the days will begin to become longer and the sun will increasingly renew its power over darkness. We, too, absorbing the message of Christ can be enlightened. We can work to create a different world. We ask that his light will shine in the places of darkness and we live in renewed hope.

Prayer

May the light of Your truth open my mind and renew my spirit.

Action

How can I be a source of light in whatever darkness I encounter in my daily life? What specific situation can I address?

Suggested Reading

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
John 8:12

Do not make any judgments before the appointed time, until the Lord comes, for the Lord will bring to light what is hidden in the darkness and will manifest the motives of our hearts, and then everyone will receive praise from God.
1 Corinthians:4-5

Christmas is joy, religious joy, an inner joy of light and peace.
Pope Francis

By virtue of the creation, and, still more of the incarnation, nothing here below is profane for those who know how to see.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Words which do not give the light of Christ increase the darkness.
Mother Teresa

Light gives of itself freely, filling all available space. It does not seek anything in return; it asks not whether you are friend or foe. It gives of itself and is not thereby diminished.
Michael Strassfeld

Dare to reach out your hand into the darkness to pull another hand into the light.
Norman B. Rice

The black moment is the moment when the real message of transformation is going to come. At the darkest moment comes the light.
Joseph Campbell

Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.
Desmond Tutu

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.
Og Mandino

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