Monday, December 03, 2012

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Today's text

Arise, shine out, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen on you. Look! though night still covers the earth and darkness the peoples, on you the Lord is rising and over you his glory can be seen. The nations will come to your light and kings to your dawning brightness (Isaiah 60:1-3).


There were people in the streets of Naperville last night. They carried candles in the darkness. Children’s faces were wet with tears.

“It’s okay to be sad,” said a little girl into a television camera. “It’s okay to cry.”

She cried for a whole community as her neighbors mourned for two young children murdered in a mother’s knife-wielding rampage.

The girl’s face shimmered with tears, but if you looked closely and opened your heart you saw not her face but the face of God. Her tears were the sorrow of God who mourns for a broken world, for beauty cut down before full bloom, for souls that would have brightened the hearts of those they would have known and loved through the decades.

God mourns for beauty lost, for life cut down.

St. Ignatius taught a way of praying to prepare for Christmas. Look at the world around you, listen to  what is happening in the daily news, and imagine God looking down at all that happens on earth.

See the divine Trinity huddled as one, Father Son and Spirit, gazing across the face of the earth, taking in the pain and loss, the wars and grief, the wounding of souls, the destruction of creation’s beauty.

Hear what the Lord is hearing, see what he is seeing, feel what he is feeling until a passion builds in your soul that cries out, “This should not be!”

Then see him extending the divine arm to the Angel Gabriel, pointing at the Earth and mouthing a single word, “Go!”

Christmas is born in the passion of God to save the children of earth from themselves. For God surveys the glory and tragedy of all that happens here, seeing, too, a little girl’s tears on a chilly November night.

God sees, too, a little girl’s tears on a chilly November night.

Look at her face, and make no mistake: Here is the face of God. Her tears are God’s own.
Her shimmering cheeks are the light of the Lord shining in the darkness, the brilliance that shines from that other child’s face, born in Bethlehem stable.

Come, Lord Jesus. Illumine our darkness.

For prayer & reflection

  • Where do you feel the passion of God to heal and make things right?
  • What feelings, images and memories came to mind as you reflect on the meditation?
  • Where has the brightness of God’s arising appeared for you?

Another voice

God of all places; present, unseen; Voice in our silence, song in our midst. We are your presence, sent forth afraid. Come, Lord Jesus, come!
God of all people, dust and the clay. Breath of a new wind, fire in our hearts. Light born of heaven, peace on the earth. Come, Lord Jesus, come!
(“God of All People,” David Haas, 1988)

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