Reading I – Isaiah 60:1-6
Gospel – Matthew 2:1-12
Electricity has become an indispensable part of life. Have you ever been in darkness? Not lying in bed waiting for sleep to arrive, but perhaps trying to navigate a room during a power failure? We rely on the smallest amount of light to help us get to where we need to be or to do what we need to do. Maneuvering in the dark makes things harder. A theme of Advent is “Watch for the Light.” A few days before Christmas, there is a subtle change: the days begin to grow longer. The prophets consoled their audiences using the imagery of light: a people in darkness will see a great Light! Jerusalem, your Light will come!
Two thousand years ago, the world was without light and direction. Isaiah prophesied that God’s glory would be humanity’s guide. When the world was in stillness, God’s all powerful Word came to earth as a newborn child. Guided by the light of a star, the magi brought gifts to this poor child and his parents, who finding no welcome in an inn, found refuge in a stable. With magnanimous generosity, Mary shared Jesus, the Light of the World, with the shepherds, the magi and all who searched for Him.
In his Christmas address, Pope Francis reminded us that while “there is darkness in human hearts, the light of Christ is greater still.” Who are the people in darkness today? They include the lonely, marginalized, persecuted, ostracized and the outcasts of society. There are many areas of instability in our world: Iraq, Lebanon, Venezuela, Yemen and Ukraine experiencing strife and the peoples of countries involved in economic, geopolitical, and ecological conflict. Globally and locally, we are invited to bring Christ to our immediate surroundings and beyond.
As we begin a new calendar year 2020, let us join with Pope Francis and pray that “through our frail hands, may He clothe those who have nothing to wear, give bread to the hungry and heal the sick. Through our friendship, such as it is, may He draw close to the elderly and the lonely, to migrants and the marginalized.” May the light of Christ which each of us has been gifted with shine before all and make our world a brighter and more welcoming place in this new year.
Blessings on this Solemnity of the Epiphany and on the New Year!
Sister Marcella Louise Wallowicz, CSFN