Mi 5:1-4a; Heb 10:5-10; Lk 1:39-45
4th Sunday in Advent
As I look at those three candles now lit on our Advent wreath at home and in my parish Church, I think about a verse from the beginning of John’s gospel: “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” I really need this image to hold up against the tragic events that occurred last Friday in Newtown, Connecticut. ( Newtown is just north of the ring of suburbs surrounding New York City. ) In a short time in the Church calendar we will be reminded of the slaughter of the innocents by King Herod who commits this crime in an effort to kill the infant Jesus. This year we don’t really need to be reminded of that story as we have watched the attrocities committed right before our eyes.
“Blessed are you who believed that was promised to you by God would be fulfilled.” This is the blessing that Elizabeth bestows on her cousin, Mary, in this week’s gospel reading. My prayer for this coming week is that all of us might receive the same blessing. That as we look at those candles and at the Christmas lights shining brightly in the growing darkness of the approaching Winter, we truly believe the promise those lights convey. The same promise that John provides in that verse cited above. The promise that evil never wins but that good always does. The promise that we can be the lights in the darkness giving off a glow of Hope and Love and Joy that, almost imperceptibly at first, chases away the darkness until the light is all in all.
And now we have a whole new gathering of tiny saints to lead the way towards that Light.
Jim Philipps (3rd millennium pilgrim)