Monday, December 17, 2012

Night comes a little earlier each day at this time of year, and dawn arrives a little later. The darkness is with us more each day as night grows longer, deeper, and colder. Shadows are cast a bit longer as the sun rests lower on the horizon, even in its mid-day traverse.

For our earliest ancestors, it must have been terrifying to witness the growing darkness. It must have seemed that the darkn

ess would consume the light and that they would never see light again. Events of the past few days might lead us to the same terrifying thought: that darkness will prevail, that gloom and sadness will triumph, that sin and tragedy are more potent than goodness.

Defiantly, we light another candle on the Advent Wreath, and celebrate the Truth that light has already conquered darkness, Grace has vanquished sin, life has overcome death, and mercy has turned back vengeance. Though grief remains, hope will prevail.

Today twilight comes a few moments earlier than yesterday, and tomorrow dawn will come a few minutes later. For but a few more days the darkness will have its way, but light, Grace, mercy, faith – all of these will triumph as the growing light leads us toward a new Springtime of hope.

Is it any wonder why we celebrate the birth of hope itself just a few days after the Winter solstice – just as soon as the light pushes back against the darkness, and the dawn greets us earlier after the darkness of each cold night.

In the pre-dawn darkness of Winter's longest night, we listen for the cry of a newborn child, we watch for a light that stirs our souls. O come, O come, Emmanuel.
December 16, 2012
Msgr. William J. King

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