January 4, 2015*
Andy Alexander, S.J.

Creighton's Collaborative Ministry Office

click here for photo and information about the writer

The Second Sunday of Christmas
Lectionary: 19

Isaiah 60: 1-6
Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-11, 12-13
Eephesians 3:2-3a, 5-6
Matthew 2: 1-12

Epiphany is celebrated in the U.S.
on Sunday, January 4th, this year.

In much of the rest of the world, this is the
Second Sunday of Christmas and
Epiphany is celebrated on January 6th.

" The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. ...
He was in the world, and the world came to be through him, but the world did not know him. ...
From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace, because while the law was given through Moses,
grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. "
John 1

It is so obvious that the world still does not know Jesus. The world - and all that we can mean by that single word - seems to oppose Jesus. The way of Jesus - his kind of choices, his preferences, his way of loving and caring for others. It is such a vivid image to imagine the Light trying to push back the Darkness.

On this Second Sunday of Christmas, it can be good for us to take a deep breath after Christmas and look forward with some hope and some peace in our hearts. God is so faithful. We have received grace after grace from our God. All God asks of us is that we bring his Light into areas of darkness in our world, just as God has brought Light into areas of darkness in our own lives.

I know that I'm more positive, and have more energy and hope, when I focus on what my mission is, rather than on how others might be falling short of theirs. When I slip into doing that, it feels like I'm "spreading darkness," if one can say that. At least it is more difficult for others to believe that Jesus has filled my darkness with Light. When I give in to frustration with others or anger at what I perceive as behavior of theirs which irritates me, then it feels like I've received Light and refuse to share it, refuse to accept my mission to share his Light - letting it pass from me to others.

One summer I lived in a L'Arche community with mentally handicapped adults. These communities, founded by Jean Vanier continue to signs of power of community, living together in hope. There was a song we used to sing. It was so simple, and so profound. It is one of those songs that can be added on to and sung almost endlessly. "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine, Oh, this little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine. This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine." Then the verses can be whatever individuals in the group make up - usually repeated three times, followed by the refrain. "Even when I'm sad, I'm gunna let it shine." Or, "When I'm overwhelmed, I'm gonna let it shine." Or, "You and me together, we can let it shine." "So many need his Light, so I'm gonna let it shine." It's very contagious and transforming, just to sign.

"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." And, it never will.

* This reflection from the Archives was written originally for January 4, 2004

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