let there be light, let there be life, let there be love

A blessed Christmas to everyone! What a wonderful, glorious, sacred time of the year this is. God loves us and we know He loves us because He sent his only Son, Jesus, into our world to bring light to a world cloaked in darkness.

Hirten - The Nativity

Hirten – The Nativity

But we must remember how He sent his son to us. Jesus was born in a stable and laid in a manger. He was born as an outsider, outside of wealth, power, or fame; he was born in anonymity, poor, and helpless.Thomas Merton once wrote “Into this world, this demented inn, in which there is absolutely no room for Him at all, Christ has come uninvited. But because He cannot be at home in it, because He is out of place in it, and yet must be in it, His place is with those others for whom there is no room. His place is with those who do not belong, who are rejected by power because they are regarded as weak, those who are discredited, who are denied status as persons, who are tortured, bombed, and exterminated. With those for whom there is no room, Christ is present in the world. He is mysteriously present in those for whom there seems to be nothing but the world at its worst.”

Henry David Thoreau wrote that “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” We watch the big events of the world from the outside; never seeing ourselves at the center, forever unknown; our talents and gifts unrecognized; never any room for us in the inn. Our dreams and our talents will never find voice. There will never be any room in the inn for what is best within us.

Sometimes other people keep us in the dark, but we also keep ourselves in the dark because we cannot face our own humanity, our sins and our weaknesses. We do not want to see what or who we are. We shut our eyes to the light that would allow us to see ourselves clearly. In the darkness we can avoid looking honestly at ourselves; we somehow feel safe.

In Isaiah we hear “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light,…” and Zechariah at the end of his prophecy states that “By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will visit us, to shine on those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death.” The dawn from on high, Jesus Christ, has come, and just as the dawn will bring the light of day, so Jesus came to rescue us from the darkness of sin and bring His saving light to all mankind. Death remains, but it no longer casts a shadow over life. We do not have to be afraid of death anymore. It no longer signifies destruction. It is an end but also a beginning.

During this season we reminisce, celebrate, and prepare for Christmases past, present, and yet to come. We remember the great light that came to us over 2000 years ago that freed us from the darkness of sin. We celebrate Christmas because we know that Jesus is here, today and every day, loving and caring for us, helping us to become closer to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And we try to prepare ourselves for when Jesus comes again to bring us all into His heavenly kingdom.

The joy of Christmas is not for a day or a season. It is an eternal joy, a joy that no one can take from us because it is the joy of Jesus Christ himself made present in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who dwells within us. The Lord gives us a supernatural joy which no pain nor sorrow can diminish, and which neither life nor death can take away.

We say God is light and that darkness is the absence of light.  At the dawn of creation, the first thing that God did was create light. Light is an essential element for life; darkness produces nothing, it precludes life.

In the Gospel, we hear again about how light has come into our darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. The Light is the Word and has “made His dwelling among us.” This Light has come into the world to dispel the darkness.  Today, our world appears to be shrouded in darkness, ignoring the light. But the light of Christ shines ever brightly, bringing hope and salvation to the “Children of God.”

As we prepare for and celebrate Christmas let us remind ourselves that there is peace and happiness waiting for us when we open our arms to the light of Christ. God loves us, He sent His Son to save us, and His message to us is “Let there be Light, let there be Life, let there be Love.”

May the light of our Lord Jesus Christ shine upon us, dispel the darkness, and bring us peace; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: http://deaconscorner.org. Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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