The Light of the World

Merry Christmas Everyone!

A couple of weeks ago I had to drive into the city in the early hours of the morning – just before sunrise.  While I was driving I noticed the stars, which were so bright in the darkness of the night, slowly fading away in the pre-dawn light. As I rounded the famous Conshohocken curve, I was met by the dazzling brightness of the sun as it broke above the horizon. Its brilliance was captivating as it revealed the beauty of creation in its light.  I couldn’t help but think: The light of the Sun — what a wonderful gift from God.

In our Christmas gospel St. John testifies to the eternal gift that God has given us this day; the gift of his Son, Jesus Christ, who is the light of the world. “What came to be through him was life,” St. John tells us, “and this life was the light of the human race, the light … [that] darkness has not overcome.”  This is the good news announced today by the angels of heaven. Jesus — the Word of God, who in the beginning was with God and was God — is in the world today and through him we have life.  So, rejoice and be glad!

Jesus, the Father’s only Son, was sent to us in the fullness of time for a purpose.  He was born into our world so that we might be reconciled to the Father and, by the light of his life, be shown the way to his kingdom.  The light of Christ reveals to us so many of the gifts God gives to us for our salvation: Gifts such as faith, hope and the greatest Gift of all — His love for us.

–   Our faith is the gift that brings us into a loving, personal relationship with God: the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It’s the gift of faith which allows us to hear, accept and live the word of God in our life.

–  Hope fills us with the confidence that God is always with us, accompanying us at every moment, leading us to life with him in heaven.

–   And it is by the Incarnation of Jesus, which we celebrate here today, that we are made aware of the depth of God’s love for us.  St. John also tells us in a later passage: “In this way the love of God is revealed to us: God sent his only son into the world so that we might have life through him.” When the son of God became man, Jesus gave us the model of holiness to guide us by the light of his life onto the path of our salvation.

This magnificent light of Christ came into the world for all people — rich and poor; sinners and holy men and women; believers and doubters. In celebrating his birth, we  acknowledge the saving power of Jesus, the Word of God, and reflect the light of his love for us by the way we live our life.

Throughout the Christmas season give thanks for the gifts of faith, hope and God’s love that are present in your life.  Share these gifts of Christmas with your family and friends through the example of your life.  And let the joyous news proclaimed by the angels settle in your heart and lead you to the Father through the Glory  of Jesus his Son.

On behalf of the priests and staff of Mother of Divine Providence parish, I extend to all of you our prayers for a happy and holy Christmas.  May the light of Jesus Christ shine  brightly on you and your families today and forever.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Deacon Mark