'Today A Light Will Shine Upon Us'
Each day when I listen to the news and read my newspaper, I am overwhelmed by the events of unrest and chaos that seem to plague our world. Protesters, government upheavals, rebellions, and political unrest seem to dominate the airwaves. One might ask what is happening to our world? Is there no peace and calm anywhere? Will this turmoil ever cease?
These questions are thought provoking and important especially today. We seek some peace and comfort in our lives and yet we are surrounded by turmoil and noise. This applies not just to the world around us, but also at times to our personal lives. Where will we find this peace?
In the message of Christmas and in the weeks as we prepare to celebrate this important feast, we ask the Lord to instill within us, some sense of peace and calm, in the midst of all the turmoil and busyness that mark this time of year. Today a light will shine upon us, says the prophet Isaiah. A light that is unlike the light of this world. This light comes from above and it is the light of God in Jesus Christ His Son. This light will not only bring some peace within our hearts but it will also help us to see the way for our daily living. Our openness to this light, is a sign of our willingness to see this season and this feast in its true light. This is not just a holiday or a time for gift giving and fancy meals or decorations. It is a time for us to examine our hearts and to discover if we have allowed the light of God to touch us and to guide us in our everyday living.
If our heart is open to this light and peace, then our relationships will change. There will be a greater sense of love and respect for one another. There will exist a greater sense of appreciation and gratitude for the abundance that we have. There will be a true sense of compassion and concern for others manifest in our outreach to help, especially those who are less fortunate in our society. There will exist within us a sense of reconciliation and forgiveness, to reestablish bonds and relationships, esepcially in our families, that have been severed through anger, argument or jealousy.
This light from above can change our life and give us a deeper appreciation for the gift of life itself which we enjoy. So in the midst of the turmoil, upset and impatience, let us allow this light to shine on us. We need not wait until Christmas for this to happen, since the light and grace of Jesus Christ is available to us now. A simple prayer seeking this light and an openness of heart to allow God's light to enter us will be sufficient.
May these days that lead us to Christmas and may the celebration of this great feast with our families and friends be a time for us to allow the light of the Lord to shine in us and to help us bring some peace and goodness to the world around us. A Merry and Holy Christmas to all.
Fred J. Colli
Bishop of Thunder Bay