Thursday, December 28, 2017

“Learn to light a candle in the darkest moments of someone’s life. Be the light that helps others see; it is what gives life its deepest significance.”

Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness. - Martin Luther King, Jr. – (1929 – 1968: was an American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement)

Gospel Text: (MT 2:13-18)
When the magi had departed, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said,
"Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt,
and stay there until I tell you.
Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him."
Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night
and departed for Egypt.
He stayed there until the death of Herod,
that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled,
Out of Egypt I called my son.

When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi,
he became furious.
He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity
two years old and under,
in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi.
Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the prophet:

A voice was heard in Ramah,
sobbing and loud lamentation;
Rachel weeping for her children,
and she would not be consoled,
since they were no more.

On a day when the gospel reading reverberates with darkness and sadness at the deaths of the holy innocents, all of those little boys, it is good to remember the words of the first reading from Mass today. God is light. There are dark places in the world. There are dark places within me. There is that darkness in the world that is beyond understanding. But God is light. 

The darkness can be overwhelming, but we have to remember that God is light. We can comfort ourselves with the knowledge that God loves us and will be faithful and just if we acknowledge our sins. We live in the world and it is up to us to try to banish the darkness from where we are. We have to try to walk in the light. We can do that in small ways every day. We all have moments in our day where we can choose to be the light. We can be kind instead of short-tempered. We can take time to listen to a colleague who seeks solace even when our own to-do list is miles long. We can be thankful. We can say we are sorry. We can pray, holding those who endure injustice and cruelty in our hearts. We can do something for someone else. 

We can find ways to challenge ourselves to be a light for justice. We can do what we can where we are. We can be the light.  Today, I pray for those who suffer and ask God to help me walk in the light.

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