A Little Light of Love.
There are an infinite number of ways to approach a mystery but one stands out by far when we consider the mystery of Christmas. We will summarize our reflection with the realization that a little Light of Love entered our humanity to conquer the darkness of the demonic.
Little is the way our Lord entered this world and it was the little ones, the shepherds who first received the angelic message that God was in Bethlehem as a little new born babe. Littleness is a requisite for understanding and living in the truth revealed in the dark of the night. At that midnight hour the God Who created everything passes through the womb of the virgin to begin His mission amongt us. “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of God.” The poor shepherds came to that crib and in the emanation of light flowing from the babe’s body they knew that their savior had been born.
Consider the mighty at that time. There was the Roman Emperor, the Caesar, who didn’t know what was taking place besides his counting of the people he ruled. Then there were the four Jewish kings indicating that the house of the Israelites was divided and soon would come to an end. Recall the names of Caiphas and Annas who were to spiritual lead their people as high priest. Kings and Priests would not lower themselves to visit a place like Bethlehem. Pride can never see the mark of God until they fall.
Let us turn to the next aspect of the mystery. The Lord who shall unite His Kingship with the office of eternal high priest is the Light of the world. “I am the Light” Jesus stated and that light began to shine in the darkness of the midnight hour. The world was in darkness and sought only the tinsel light of pleasure and power. The Light of the world did not come to increase our financial bank account, nor did He come to take over worldly power and He certainly rejected all manner of politics. Light offers us to gifts: first, the gift of illumination and second, the gift of warmth in love.
In His Light we come to understand that we must pass through the purging of our sins (the purgative life). We will enter into the life of illumination for we will see the importance of following the Lord in the simplicity of truth. The reflection on the word of God and His works will give us insight into the patterns of God in the world today. Meditation will open new vistas for us to explore within our mind’s eye. Every new understanding of the truth will help us form a life in Christ.
In the meantime, the tinsel lights decorating storefronts, trees and homes only cry out to the heart of the consumer. They do not satisfy the longings of the human heart which does not long for the things of this world of darkness but for the eternal light of truth. Every truth expands the power of the person who enters into its grip. Darkness makes the world ling incapable of recognizing the presence of God. There is no light in satan’s gimmicks nor is there any love there to refresh our hungry hearts. No, today darkness must be confronted everywhere and the light of the Christ child will bring the joy of true living back to our homes.
Finally, the little Light of Love embraces our hearts with the antidote to the darkness of pride, envy, hatred, lust… We were made for Love and Love came to make us lovable. Of ourselves we are useless mounds of dust organized in a divine way to challenge this world of sin. We have fallen but we will not remain defeated. Our life now is no longer under the weight of the Law but now we are under the guidance of grace. Sanctifying grace calls us from the baptism we received; to the confession of our sins, to the reception of the Holy Eucharist that each of these sacraments infuse new love within our hearts. With this love we crush the serpent’s head and all his minions. Love conquers hatred and Love will come to us undeserving citizens of this world. Love’s goal is to make us lovable and to daily increase that love that in our death we will call on the name of Jesus. In that moment we will recall all the Christmases, all our confessions, all our holy communions and we will joyfully open our arms to receive the little Light of Love Himself, our Lord Jesus Christ.
How I pray that each of you will find the little Light of Love in your homes and in your hearts. God bless you all.
In the hearts of Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
Fr. Richard Voigt, S.D.B.