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The Christ-light Is Coming
Memorial of Saint Francis Xavier, Priest
As Jesus passed by, two blind men followed him, crying out, “Son of David, have pity on us!” When he entered the house, the blind men approached him and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I can do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they said to him. Then he touched their eyes and said, “Let it be done for you according to your faith.” And their eyes were opened. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.” But they went out and spread word of him through all that land.
Opening Prayer: Christ, be my light. Open my eyes to see you when I am blind and open my ears to hear your word when I am deaf to the truth. Help me to hear and see clearly by walking in your light. Guide me out of darkness and into the light.
- This Present Darkness: All around us the world tells us it is already Christmas. But as Catholics, we know that we are still at the beginning of Advent. Jesus is yet to come, and when he does there will be rejoicing, celebration, and light. Isaiah prophesied, “out of their gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind shall see” (Isaiah 29:18). It is a mistake to overlook the gloom and darkness that Christ was born into and which he dispelled. We must recognize that disorder, sin, evil, and death ruled the world after the fall of man and before Christ’s Incarnation. “This present darkness” (Ephesians 6:12) continues to press upon the world, seeking the ruin of souls. We can overcome the darkness only by recognizing it and then allowing Christ to be our light as we attempt to banish this darkness for his glory.
- Jesus, the Light: Jesus is the light of the world (John 9:5). Whenever we encounter the truth we encounter Christ. Whenever we turn from darkness it is toward the light of Christ. Throughout Advent we pray for Christ, the Light, to come to us. We pray for darkness to depart from us so that we may see. Humanity is represented here in the two blind men. Their blindness indicates the sin and darkness that enveloped the world after the fall of man. When Christ came to the world, he fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined” (Isaiah 9:1). Maranatha!
- Approach the Light: Many people are plagued with darkness in their hearts as we weather the pandemic and political and economic turmoil. For some, the holiday season alone raises anxieties surrounding family and relationships. Anger and unforgiveness can cloud our vision, making us spiritually blind. Whatever it is, we courageously hold it up to the Christ-light. With great confidence, we approach Christ and allow him to enter into that darkness, and he will overcome it (John 1:5). Maybe not in an instant, but with his gentle warmth and love, it will be overcome. Let’s ask Jesus to gently guide us away from the encroaching darkness into the way he has prepared for us: “Your word is a lamp for my steps and a light for my path” (Psalm 119:105).
Conversing with Christ: Jesus, you are my Way, my Truth, and my Light (John 14:6). You are my light and my salvation. I know that I do not need to be afraid, angry, or overcome with sadness (cf. Psalm 27:1). I am sorry for the times when I have hidden the darkness in my heart from you and not allowed you to heal and overcome it. I thank you for all the times when you have been victorious over the darkness both inside and around me. Help me to hold up your light whenever I encounter the darkness.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will light a candle, either at my church or at home, and I will ask you to dispel the darkness in my heart and in the hearts of my loved ones.
For Further Reflection: Read this poem by St. John Henry Newman, The Pillar of the Cloud, which begins, “Lead, Kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom. Lead Thou me on! The night is dark, and I am far from home—Lead Thou me on!”
Written by Carey Boyzuck.