Voce mea ad Dominum

Random thoughts from an amateur theologist.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

O Oriens

O Rising Dawn, Radiance of the Light eternal and Sun of Justice: come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

When I was a kid, I remember going to bed on Christmas Eve filled with anticipation of what the morning would bring. It was difficult to sleep, and the night seemed to go on forever. The anticipation was incredible, that feeling that you would bust if morning didn't get here soon. But finally, the dawn arrived, and with it came the sheer joy of the many gifts under the Christmas tree and the stockings filled with candies, fruits, and fireworks (that is what my parents gave us). For a kid it was overwhelming to receive so much.

In Judea at the time of Augustus Caesar, there was just such an anticipation. The feeling that God would redeem his people and send the long awaited Messiah was palpable. The world which lay in darkness longed for the dawn to break which would reveal the path to liberation from sin and death. This is what the world anticipated prior to the great gift which is God's Incarnation. The night which seemed to last forever was coming to an end with the dawning of the Son of the Most High. In a similar fashion, we await Christ, the dawn from on high, whose first dawning which we celebrate at Christmas shattered the dark night of sin and death and bathed the world in the warm radiance of heavenly light and thus brought salvation and pure joy to a weary world which longed for redemption. Christ's coming revealed a focal point from which light shone and illuminated the path to freedom for all who sat in enslaved in darkness. Through our Advent preparations may we focus on Christ our Light so that we may be found awake and ready to greet him with the same joy when he comes again in glory.

Eternal Light and Sun of Justice shine in all our darkness!

Saint Peter Canisius, pray for us.


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