My true love gave to me….light. On this 5th day of Christmas, I am challenged to seek the light that Christ gave us for Christmas. As we entered in to this year’s Christmas season, our nation faced great darkness and attacks on peace. Many families experienced a tenebrous Advent flowing with loss, loneliness, regret, and despair. Seeking the light, the joy of Christ, was unimaginable for some. These somber stories bleed into my life and dim my hope. At times, I find myself languishing in the murk. I recognize this when I realize that I have a scowl on my face while performing my daily tasks, being short with my children, and complaining to my husband. Which, let’s face it, can happen every day.
It is our human nature to do what we feel at the moment. We feel discouraged; we frown, hang our head low, or seclude ourselves and cut off communication. Or, we overindulge in food, alcohol, the internet, whining, complaining, working, exercising, or shopping. Whatever god we choose, we go to that altar and worship.
Christians know, intellectually, that nothing is impossible with God. We are also aware that we are targets of spiritual attacks because we have chosen to live this life. We are, after all, His hands and feet. We may as well walk around with a target on our chest. Therefore, to be the Body of Christ, we have to take deliberate action that propels us out of the natural world into the supernatural light of Christ. By actively participating in the life of Christ, we can illuminate the otherwise obscure joy that is a free gift for all.
We cannot do this alone and we don’t have to. Through the mystery of the Incarnation, we have intimate access to our God. By becoming human, He brought together our corporeal and spiritual natures. Before He completed His mission on earth, He left us portals to His Grace; the sacraments. Through the sacraments, we can access the graces necessary to complete our mission. Begin with reconciliation which prepares you to worthily participate in Holy Communion. These two sacraments can switch on the supernatural light that will allow you to see beyond the gloom of the natural world. Then, with each moment, we can choose to be a light.
What do supernatural actions look like? Some examples include: Pray without ceasing. Verbally express gratitude for the simplest things in your life to a loved one. Refrain from gossip of any kind, including our national leaders and our pope. Act joyfully, even if the feeling eludes you. Give generously of your time, treasure, and talents until it hurts; in silence without fanfare or recognition. Make daily sacrifices that remind you of your mission; not to be comfortable, but to be a light. Know your weaknesses. Name them and overcome them.
Beware. If we are not deliberate in our actions, we contribute to the gloom. Word by careless word, action by thoughtless action, we extinguish the glow and partake in the culpability for the evil in the world.
Be mindful. Even amidst the shadow of gloom, we have ample reason to rejoice! God is with us. He has given us the gift of eternal life. Rejoice!
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who lived in a land of gloom a light has shone.” Isaiah 9:1