Upon Them Hath The Light Shined
So much has happened during this year, and very little of it has been good. This time last year, we were happily enjoying our country’s strongest economy ever, its lowest unemployment ever, with a president who seemed as though nothing could stop him, that he would be invincible in the upcoming election of 2020. The children of darkness kept trying, but they kept failing. But then, as soon as the impeachment farce ended in January, suddenly as if by magic (black magic no doubt), there appeared a strain of flu that would be used as the ultimate weapon to destroy all the president had accomplished.
Last week, when we read in the Gospel about the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place, our thoughts couldn’t help turning to a more natural equivalent—to the horrific picture of Joe Biden moving into the White House, a supposed Catholic who has voted at every opportunity throughout his career to promote the murder of unborn children. Truly an abomination. And when we read how we should flee into the mountains, we think of how we’re being forced to flee the “dreaded virus” by involuntary seclusion in our homes, quarantines in which our elderly loved ones are trapped in hospitals and nursing homes, lined up like lambs for the slaughter by the likes of Governor Cuomo of New York (another supposed Catholic by the way), effectively being euthanized by forced close contact with coronavirus patients, separated from their family, and with not even a priest allowed in to give them the Last Rites. Turn on the TV, even Fox, and all you find is non-stop coverage of Biden’s latest picks for a cabinet millions believe he’s not entitled to, and the total acceptance of an extremely dubious election. The so-called Catholic bishops are falling over each other to join Planned Parenthood in congratulating our “new Catholic president.” Where can we turn to shine light on all this darkness. Truly, everywhere we look, there are nothing but false prophets who, as our Lord prophesied, are successfully deceiving even the very elect.
Is there any light at all in this darkness? Today’s Gospel tells us there will be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars. Even the sun has lost its light, as the bright light of the Catholic Church is by now almost extinguished. We have popes and bishops who promote the values of the French Revolution—liberty, brotherhood and equality—rather than the kingship of Christ. And the sun gets no help from the moon, our nation, with the prospect of the anti-Christian Democratic party bubbling up from the swamp to complete its globalist agenda and the destruction of America. This moon of the Deep State has lost whatever light of truth and decency it ever had, and the stars follow this moon into the darkness. The stars of Hollywood and television happily lead the way with their barrage of propaganda, indoctrinating us with their own ideals, the glorification of self-absorption, the promotion of all forms of vice, natural and even unnatural. False prophets everywhere.
But last week, we also learned that we have the means at our disposal to maintain our faith and hope in God’s providence alive and strong. We have a God-given vaccine to cure us from any despair, to inspire us to ever greater heights of religious fortitude. That vaccine, you’ll remember, is Holy Communion, the frequent reception of the Body and Blood of Christ in his divine Eucharist.
Apart from helping our faith and hope, Holy Communion is also a booster shot for our charity, our love of God and neighbor. The importance of this holy charity can never be underestimated or overemphasized. Charity is what our Lord described as the greatest of the commandments, and the one on which all the law and the prophets depend. Yes, all the prophets. Not the false prophets we’ve been talking about, the crazy gurus and the evil deceivers of this world, with their lies, their false teachings and Satanic ideals of moral self-indulgence, political upheaval, and religious suicide. But the true prophets, men like Elijah, Daniel, and Isaiah.
In fact, it was one of the prophecies of Isaiah that we read just before the blessing of the Advent Wreath this morning: “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.” It is one of the great beauties of the Church’s liturgy that it always seems to provide us with the right words of comfort just when we need them most. These words of the eternal and divine worship remain, even though the evil men who now control Rome have done their best to suppress them.
Today, we seem to be walking in darkness as in the days of old. And so we look for that same great light to shine upon us once again. We look to the heavens. And as our worldly sun and moon and stars fade before our very eyes, we gaze up like the astronomers of ancient times to behold a new light in the East. Three of those astronomers, wise men all, decided to follow that Star of Bethlehem as it moved across the skies of Asia, shedding a new kind of light on the lands below. As our world darkens around us on this grim November morning, we find ourselves once again welcoming the season of Advent. The promise of a light that will shine upon the people that walk in darkness, a light that will illuminate this “land of the shadow of death.” “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.”
At his presentation in the temple, this newborn Child would be held up by the old man Simeon in the temple. And Simeon would prophesy that this Child was to be “a light, to lighten the Gentiles, and to be the glory of thy people Israel.” That light is returning this Advent, moving inexorably across the heavens towards Bethlehem. It has come to “lighten the Gentiles,” to lighten us. The Christ Child is the Light of the World, and he comes not only to shine in our midst, to sweep away the darkness of the world in the glory of his brightness. He comes also to kindle in us, in our own cold hearts, the fire of his love. You see, it’s not enough to just follow the Star to Bethlehem. When we arrive at the Christmas stable, we must kneel before our newborn King, and we must present to him the gift of our own soul, allowing the light of grace to shine from us also, making sure we follow this Child’s wishes by letting our light so shine before men that they should see our good works, and glorify their Father which is in heaven. This is loving God above all things and our neighbor as ourselves. This is charity.
And so as people start putting up colored lights on their houses, as giant reindeer and snowman balloons appear on people’s lawns, and Christmas trees are lit in a multitude of squares and malls all over the land, let’s take all these Christmas lights and decorations for what they are—the reflection and reminder of the great light that will surely follow. Let’s refocus on that Star of Bethlehem that is the window in the sky to the brightness of the heaven beyond. Let’s follow that star to the Christ Child, taking a break from our constant self-indulgence. Let’s prepare ourselves for his coming. Let’s think of the needs of others rather than ourselves. Let’s talk to God more, worshipping him, obeying his commandments, thanking him for all his blessings past, present and future. And above all, let’s constantly remember what Christmas is all about, the coming of the Christ Child, and his eternal mission to enlighten the darkness of our minds by the grace of his visitation.