Finally, there we are. The night we have been waiting for has come. We celebrate Christ our rising sun that elbows darkness from our lives. The motion of victory of light over darkness is launched it’s for us to keep it going.
May the rays of Christ our rising sun penetrate the dark corners of our lives
- Isaiah 9: 1–3, 5–6
- Titus 2: 11–14
- Luke 2: 1–14
Light on people who lived in darkness
It’s in the awareness of the rising sun in the darkness of our personal lives, and in the world, that we welcome the message of Isaiah as Good News: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness-on them light has shined.” How do we link Christmas with light?
Rising sun, inspiration from pagan feast
Certainly, you may have heard people who say that Christmas is a pagan feast. It’s for idol worshippers –those who worship the sun. Of course, it’s a misinterpretation. How then is Christmas linked with the rising sun?
In the northern hemisphere we have winter solstice on 21 December and, 21 June in the south. Here you have a long and darkest night and shortest day. It means the night can’t get longer nor can the day get shorter –the opposite is true. Though only slowly but the truth is that after winter solstice the day starts stretching and the night shortening. This gradual change, barely noticeable in winter, blossoms into a remarkable and noticeable summer time so much that even at 10:00 p.m you are bathing in sun shine. There you have victory of the sun, unimaginable during winter.
That’s why in many pagan traditions they celebrated god sun in December. The Romans celebrated god sun on 25th December called Sol Invictus which means, the unconquered sun. I find that just beautiful.
Christ our rising sun
At Christmas we celebrate Christ our light who comes to illumine our world. In Jesus we have an unconquered sun which, slowly but surely, dissipates the darkness from our lives. We are rejoicing not because of the sun up in the sky, like pagans, but rather in the presence of God who becomes one of us to show us the way. With him a new creation is born. And Advent was about preparing ourselves to welcome this light in our lives that Isaiah announces in the First Reading: “People that walked in darkness have seen great light”
My life like winter solstice
Isn’t our life a bit like winter solstice? Aren’t there moments when I feel things have gone so bad that I just can’t go anymore? Yet, we know too well that after midnight it’s a new day that hatches; after touching the hill top it’s the descent that begins. That’s why we are hopeful even in the face of shades of darkness in the world, like the violent and barbaric killings in Berlin, Syria, Congo and in many other places.
Just like darkness appears to overpower light in winter so does evil seem to be steering the world. Christmas assures us of the presence of an unconquered sun –Christ our rising sun. That’s the reason of our celebrating –the day is gaining the ground.
Christ the unconquered sun
The violence and the injustice we see in the world do not cancel this new life that Jesus brings us. The moment you and I welcome Christ our rising sun to illumine our personal darkness there begins the victory of light over darkness, victory of life over death, victory of good over evil. If this Christmas can help me, even by an inch, to conquer hatred and selfishness; if it can help me to become better mother, better father, better child, better citizen –we have a good reason to celebrate such victory.
Let’s pray then that our meeting with Christ our light, at this Christmas, may transform us into rays of hope and light to our neighbourhood.
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I wish you the joy and peace of Christmas!
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