Saturday, December 15, 2012

December 15, 2012

Today's text

In the beginning was the Word: the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things came into being, not one thing came into being except through him. What has come into being in him was life, life that was the light of men. … The Word became flesh, he lived among us, and we saw his glory, the glory that he has from the Father as only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:1-4, 14).


God speaks into the silence of night. It has always been that way.

In the beginning, there was nothing but silent darkness. Then God spoke and worlds exploded into existence. Physicists tell us a big bang sent matter screaming through space at unbelievable speed, scattering into distant corners that hadn’t before existed.

Over billions of years a universe came to be--immensity and beauty, life and intelligence, where nothing had been. God spoke in the silent darkness awakening life and wonder.

That’s the way it always is … and certainly at Christmas.

Christmas comes in the deep silence of night when few are awake to notice the birth of divine life in human flesh. Songs of the season transport us to the night Jesus was born to listen to all God is saying … and know.

 “Silent Night, Holy Night; It Came upon a Midnight Clear; O, Holy Night; other songs carry us to the dark streets of Bethlehem that we might see and feel the light of life entering our world and our souls

But the silence of night is not always our friend. It does not always bring grace.

The wee hours are times when memories haunt and fears attack. In the dark hours, restless hearts are perturbed by past wounds and mistakes, and the looming future holds as much threat as promise.

But here, too, God speaks in the silence of our night. God invites us to the stable that saw Jesus’ birth that we may imagine and look into his fragile infant face.

Imagine yourself there. Place yourself in the stable, standing near an exhausted Mary, fitful, trying to sleep. Joseph kneels at her side and holds her arm, and you stand close, cradling an infant wrapped in strips of cloth, enfolded in your arms.

Put yourself there … and listen. Listen to your heart. Listen in the great silence of your soul where fears come and you wonder what life is about.

Listen … and look at this child. What does God say in the silent darkness of your all-too-human heart?

Whatever else comes, hear the tenderness at the heart of the God who hungers to be held and loved by you. In the deep silence of your days and nights, God whispers a love that comes for us and always will.

For prayer and reflection

  • What emotions, thoughts and memories were stirred by today’s reflection?
  • When do you most need to hear what God is saying through the birth of Jesus this year?
  • Where and when is it most possible for you to hear God speaking to you?

Another voice

Cold are the people, winter of life. We tremble in shadows this cold endless night. Frozen in the snow lie roses sleeping. Flowers that will echo the sunrise. Fire of hope is our only warmth. Weary, its flame will be dying soon.
(“Night of Silence,“ Daniel Kantor, 1984)

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