Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Lights in the Darkness

Advent Wreath

I think it’s curious that December becomes a month of increasing darkness and at the same time a series of light festivals. Both religious and secular communities celebrate the growing darkness, eagerly awaiting the return of the sunlight and springtime! At least up here in the northern hemisphere! (in the southern hemisphere they’re in spring and getting ready for summer).

Tonight the Jewish community begins the ancient festival of Hanukkah which is the commemoration of the rededication of the Temple (see 2 Maccabees 10;1-8) Western Christians mark the four Sundays preceding Christmas with the lighting of the successive candles of the Advent wreath. And for eight days following Christmas many African-Americans celebrate traditional family and tribal values with Kwanzaa, again, lighting a series of candles.
Hanukkah lights

St. Francis of Assisi took significant time in prayer and preparation for the great festival of the Incarnation, Christmas. He knew the darkness that could penetrate one’s heart, and he knew that Jesus Christ, the Light of the World alone could enlighten him. He prayed before the San Damiano Cross, “. . . enlighten the darkness of my heart.”

We who are baptized have been enlightened by Christ. That is why we are given the baptismal candle, which is lit from the Easter Candle at each baptism. We have been delivered from the ancient curse of evil and sin, the Powers of Darkness. We have been brought into the Kingdom of Jesus, God’s incomparable Light (cf. Colossians 1:12-14).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fr.Kim I think the Holy Season of Advent is a very great way to remind all of us that JESUS is always there for all of us LIGHTENING OUR WAY TO THE PATH HE HAS PLANNED FOR ALL OF US.JESUS TRULY IS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.May this Holy Season of Advent be a reminder to all of us that our eternal salvation began with three simple little words YES!! And that our HEARTS AND MINDS should always ENTRUSTED TO GOD. GOD BLESS ALL OF THE FRANCISCAN PROVINCE OF THE B.V.M. MAY THIS HOLY SEASON OF ADVENT ALWAYS LIGHT YOUR PATH TO GOD'S ABUNDANCE OF THE FRUIT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.AMEN! Thank You Connie