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  • Catholic Ministries Appeal

Christ Be Our Light!

Updated: Jan 5

At this time of the year, with shorter days and longer nights, it might be tempting to retreat into oneself, pull the covers over one’s head and yearn for longer, brighter times! Many people suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder) which is quite common during the winter months due to less daylight.


As we continue to grapple with COVID, see political unrest almost everywhere we turn, face the economic challenges of inflation, and the various crises that abound in the world, many of us are feeling lost in darkness.


To find hope in the darkness of winter, our ancestors would light candles and yule logs, a tradition of light in the darkness that continues each year with our colorful holiday lights. For the past few weeks, my wife and I have been lighting a candle each night at dinner as a symbol of hope. Our hope is in the light of Christ!


God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth; but if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. --- 1 John 1:5-10


An old Chinese proverb says, “It’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness.” That candle, that light, is really the light of Christ. Christ calls each of us to do a particular job each day (yes, even if we are retired). That job, that light, comes from a desire deep within us that makes us restless. This is the famous passage from St. Augustine’s Confessions in which Saint Augustine states “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”


So where does this leave us? Perhaps we might look to spread some light and hope by volunteering at a local food pantry, tutoring a struggling student, or contributing some funds to a worthy cause. Staying engaged in the world, even when it means getting out of bed, or being tired, can help ward off the “blues.” Even better, staying engaged in our faith and its traditions not only can give us hope but also spread some cheer!


Here's something else to ponder. Am I ready to walk entirely in the light? Do I want to live my life, every day, sharing the light and hope of Christ?


Stephen Scarallo


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