Light for the Journey
(Reflection by Donal Neary SJ)
In faith and in hope we begin Advent this week with its first candle. With Mary and Joseph, we wait for Christ. The candles are lighting the way for them – and for us! The coming light of Jesus lights both our waiting and our journey in life. May it shine the light of Christ into the darknesses of the year since last Christmas – bereavement, illness, depression, disappointments?
We prepare best for Christmas by spreading this light. The way to celebrate Christmas is rooted in our following of the gospel. Among our ways are care for the poor, some daily prayer, and the wish to forgive and be forgiven.
All the different images of Christmas prepare us for this birth – the carols we hear and sing, the lights in the streets, the star over the church and the ways we pray with anticipation and remember other Christmas days with joy.
Everything of this month can remind us of God. The
Christmas trees, lights, cards, carols, parties, Santa hats, the houses lit up with reindeer and all the things we see about Christmas, all remind us that God is near.
We welcome this light in the spirit of Pope Francis: ‘Those who have opened their hearts to God’s love heard his voice and received his light, cannot keep this gift to themselves. Since faith is hearing and seeing, it is also handed on as word and light’ (The Light of Faith, 37).
Remember some people or memories that make you grateful for Christmas. Thank God for these in your own world.
Come, Lord Jesus. Come into our world of gold and grey, which needs you badly.