As we continue to celebrate Christmas, the daily readings and saints’ feast days are aimed to help us appreciate the meaning and the immediate and long-term effects of Christ’s birth. Among others, we honored St. John the Evangelist, the “disciple whom Jesus loved”. On Christmas morning we read the beautiful and profound prologue to his Gospel, which teaches us that Jesus is God, the Eternal Word, the Light that shines in the darkness. We have also been reading from his first letter for the past few days.
Today’s readings continue with this image of Jesus as Light. In the first reading, from St. John’s first letter, he explains that the commandment to love is old, yet becomes new in Christ. The Lord shows us the true extent of divine love through His complete self-giving, and He invites and empowers us to follow His example. To love is to be in the Light of Christ and to see all things in that Light. To hate is to be in darkness and deception.
In the Gospel, Simeon speaks again of the Light. Christ is the Light that reveals God to the nations. But the Light also reflects on humanity; the way people react to the Light of Christ reveals who people really are. That revelation is not always pretty, and as a result, the Light will be contradicted.
May the Light of Christ fill our hearts this Christmas. May we strive each day to remove darkness from our lives, and always live in the Light. May we become one with it, and shine it back towards God and the world through our deeds of love, especially towards those most in need.