The Light Shines- MERRY CHRISTMAS!
In just a few words this Gospel passage tells us what God gave us for Christmas. “The Word became flesh and lived among us.” There can never be a better gift given. And this exchange of gifts, as described by St Augustine—“God became man, so that man might become God.”
Each time we go to the Eucharist we continue participating in this exchanging of gifts with God. When the presiding priest pours a little water into the wine, he prays: “By the mystery of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in our humanity”. We offer up at each celebration bread and wine as an offering, and we then in return receive the Body and Blood of the Lord. This is why we, as Christians, should “remember the dignity that Christmas gives you.” [Pope St Leo]. Christmas, the Incarnation, gives us the best of both worlds! “God became man so that man might become God.”
Christmas takes place just a few days after the winter solstice, which is the shortest day of the year [making it the longest night of the year]. But on that day of the solstice, the balance of significance begins to shift. Each day will be met with a longer period of light shining, and the night therefore doesn’t last as long. It is the heavens’ way of reminding us, a found in John’s Gospel, that “the light shines in the darkness and the darkness could not overcome it.” Christmas IS the birth of He who will call Himself the Light of the World.
Let the light continue to shine in the darkness. Let us rejoice in the coming of our Lord and Savior. Give thanks to God for this great exchange of gifts. The Lord of the angels became man today so that man could eat the break of angels!