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in Omaha, Nebraska, since 1878
Reflections on the Daily Readings
from the Perspective of Creighton Students

December 28th, 2013
by
Sara Francesconi
Bio | Email: SaraFrancesconi@creighton.edu

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
           
Reflect for a moment on the words ‘light’ and ‘darkness.’ What words do you associate with light? How about darkness? It’s safe to say that your understanding of these words is a combination of your life experiences and societal and cultural upbringing. More often than not, darkness connotes something scary or unknown; this is made obvious by almost every scary movie  - isn’t there always something terrifying lurking around a dark corner? I become aware of my own understanding of darkness on those nights when I’m left home alone; why do the noises and creaks of my house seem so much more obvious when surrounded by darkness? Yet as soon as the sun rises, life seems more certain and hopeful.

Scripture plays upon these common human experiences and speaks frequently about the contrast between light and darkness. Today’s first reading states, “God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). This passage is not referring solely to the light which one can see; in this context, light has many meanings: goodness, purity, safety, comfort, holiness, warmth, the absence of sin. God is all that is good.Light also pushes away or drowns the darkness - God overpowers all that is bad.

In the Catholic Church, today is the Feast of Holy Innocents. Today’s Gospel, Matthew 2:13-18, tells the story of Herod’s attempt to kill baby Jesus by ordering the massacre of all boys aged two years or younger. Herod wanted to block out the light that Jesus brought to the world; he knew that something big had arrived, something that would surely overpower the darkness, and it scared him. As we know, Jesus was not among the babies killed in the massacre – according to the Gospel, Mary and Joseph had fled to Egypt in order to protect their newborn son. Jesus lived on to bring light into the world.

As we are only a few days into the Christmas season, it’s fitting for us to reflect upon this goodness and light. I often forget that the joy, light, and festivities preceding Christmas day need not end when the tree is taken down and the Christmas music no longer plays on the radio. Christmas signifies the beginning of Jesus’ time on earth; the joy has just begun! Today I pray that we focus on the light; may we allow this light to overpower all darkness in our lives.

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