December 23, 2023

Jesus is Our Light in the Darkness (Christmas Eve, Year B)

The Readings teach us how to cope with the spiritual darkness around us by following Jesus example if being a light in the darkness. We don’t see a lot of happy faces around us. The snowflake generation is in rebellion against God, confused and lost in materialism, drugs, alcohol and depression. The Good news is that we have hope and joy. Jesus has come to save us from this fallen world and guide us into an eternal life of joy that has already started and can only get better.


        1. Light Exposes the Darkness

Jesus, like John the Baptist and the prophets before him exposed and challenged the spiritual darkness in the world around Him. He was born into a time very much like our own when the official church leadership had become intellectualized, politicized and separated from God.

·     Judaism has always been a personal covenant relationship between individuals and God

·     Priests and teachers became more intellectualized and professionalized as their political power grew

·     Love relationship with God was replaced by studying about God and God’s wisdom

·     Question: ‘Why was John the Baptist in the wilderness?’

·     John was the son of a Levite priest and a priest by birth

·     Wanted to know God personally -- had to get far away from the corrupted temple priests and teachers

·     John was a light in the darkness and people made an effort to go to him and be baptized into authentic faith

·     Like Jesus he gave them the light of hope.


2. The Light of Jesus Exposes the Truth

The Covenant of Jesus which we celebrate in the Eucharist changed the world. It gives us the hope of forgiveness and joy of a right relationship with God. But this is not easy. 

·     We have to face the truth of our failures which is painful

·     We have to be courageous in the face of opposition

·     We have to trust Jesus

·     Birth of Jesus is not just a cute story of a baby

·     It is a story of personal courage, trust in God and willingness to face opposition – truth can be painful

·     Mary showed enormous courage in riding a donkey 80 km to Bethlehem – life was in danger as not married

·     Joseph showed the same courage, willingness to face opposition and trust in God

·     God showed great love and trust in humanity by coming to us as a helpless baby with hated parents

·     Greatest truth – that many miss in the story, is that God, not Joseph, was the biological Father

·     The Truth of the Divinity of Jesusis the truth that Jesus as fully man and fully God, could give His life as a sufficient sacrifice for the sins of all believers


3. Light of Christ Gives Us Hope

The Birth of Jesus was a sign of the glory of God in the world. The story of the angels is about signs and wonders, light and hope coming into the world. It was the shepherds who were the first to experience the divine, have hope and go out into the world proclaiming the good news of what they had experienced.

·     This is what we are to do

·     We are to go out into the world and share the good news we have seen with our own eyes

·     Luke is an eyewitness account of the birth of Jesus

·     Clue is “Mary treasured up all these things in her heart”

·     She was there and she must have talked to Luke

·     We are all called to go out into the darkness of the world and share the Good News that Jesus is our light in the darkness

·     We are not alone -- Holy Spirit as the continuing presence of Jesus in the world, is in us

·     May the Risen Jesus bless us all with the hope of His divine light this Christmas

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