Fourth Thursday of Advent (Year B)



Isaiah 9:2-7 | Psalm 96 | Luke 2:1-20 | Titus 2:11-14


Advent Meditation by James Gomez

Winter came and brought with it the darkness of longer nights.  Winter came and it was met with even more of the darkness of uncertainty, isolation, illness, and mortality this year.  Despite this gloom, we are reminded-invited-called, especially during Advent, to be a light in the darkness while both preparing to celebrate The Eternal Light, who has come, and preparing to be ready when The Eternal Light comes again.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,

What can our light do?  Some quotes attributed to notables tell us.

Anne Frank, in the midst of oppression and peril, writes, “Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.”  Our light can be such a contrast and reveal what the darkness really is.

Francis of Assisi, writes that, “all the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.”  Hope is on our side.

Popularized by Eleanor Roosevelt but likely an expression of Chinese origin, “It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.”  Let’s be the light.

Martin Luther King Jr., with his “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that,” gives us how to be the light.

Shakespeare writes in The Merchant of Venice about “How far that little candle throws its beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.”  Just a little light goes a long way.

Finally, Plato philosophizes that “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”  Don’t be afraid or resist when good light appears.

“For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:”

Isaiah says in the readings today, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness on them light has shined.  You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you.”  Luke recounts in the readings today, “In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.  Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.”

When The Eternal Light comes, are we ready for it?  When The Eternal Light comes, are we rejoicing like those in Isaiah?  When The Eternal Light comes, will we be terrified like the shepherds?

begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made….

by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.

The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen”

Merry Christmas to All!