This weekend as I was still in the throes of cleaning up the yard, I marveled at some of the flowers still hanging on and some of the new greenery responding to warmer temperatures. Yet, here I am writing for the first week of Advent. It is hard to comprehend that it has been that many weeks since Easter and the beauty of the early spring flowers. Life passes so quickly and there is no way to put it on pause so we can catch our breaths. The readings for today fill us with the sense of hope and salvation. From the book of Isaiah to the healing touch of Jesus and faith of those inflicted, we see, feel, and experience the hope.
It is the responsorial psalm for today that really caused me to think:
“My light and my salvation.”
I thought of all the ways we envision Jesus as light. From my earliest childhood, I remember a very old looking picture in my parents’ bedroom of what appeared to be a lovely child with a haloed background. My mother always called it “The Light of the World.” I still see that picture daily as it now is displayed in my bedroom. As I think about the light of the world, I am reminded of how Jesus lights my life in every way. Every morning, the sunrise shows us that darkness does not last forever. When life appears “darkest” – it is faith and trust that lights the way. There is such comfort as one surrenders through prayer and through letting go and letting God. While “The Light of the World” picture is a familiar connection between Jesus and light, many other symbols exist. The beam of light from a lighthouse is frequently pictured as a means of guiding us safely to shore. Of course, it truly does direct and protect the sailors at sea but the symbolism goes well beyond these chosen few. We are all in need of the guidance and being shown the way to the right path.
At this start of Advent as I think about the impending birth of our Lord, I remember the importance of the Star of Bethlehem in leading both the shepherds and the Magi to the baby Jesus. So, “our light and salvation” leads us to Him through providing the light and the way to salvation. Our star at the top of our Christmas tree symbolizes that Star of Bethlehem and shines brightly throughout the season for us to remember the reason we put up a tree at all. So, as we enjoy the Christmas lights may we look beyond their beauty to their meaning of hope and salvation. Let every twinkle touch your heart and soul and keep them open to the real magic of Christmas.
I love the song, Mary, did you know? Her faith was so incredible – the lines capture so much of the miracle of Christmas especially – did you know the Child that you delivered, would soon deliver you? Yet, we have this tremendous advantage, we KNOW!!