In the sanctuary this morning, the Christmas lights are still twinkling a rainbow of colors on the green branches of the pine trees. In this way, the Church bravely plows ahead with the continuing announcement that the Light has come into our dark world. It is Epiphany, 2013.
Darkness is an apt metaphor for the sin that shrouds our world. It is dark in Syria where nearly 50,000 people, mostly poor, have been killed by an oppressive regime. It is dark, too in the hearts of those who think that the proper response to the massacre of little children at Sandy Hook is to arm themselves (and us) with firepower equal to any attacker’s arsenal.I think that revenge and paramilitary possees are ugly responses to the heartbreak of mothers and fathers who mourn with horror of the assasination of their children.
Our senators and representatives flail in the darkness of self-interest along with fear of the dangers they may have to face for making tough decisions. Meanwhile, seventy-days of inaction after Hurricane Sandy has left thousands of people in misery, worried as to whether they can rebuild their homes, and their lives.
At the close of this year, my own city recorded its 500th slaying. Chicago’s city streets are murky
and the street lights have been shot out. It’s Lights Out! for poor people there, too.
Then, there are the demons roaming around in our own hearts seeking a dark place to hide and stay awhile. Sandy Hook and Hurricane Sandy have brought them out to play.
When Jesus was asked if he were the messiah he said, “Go and report to John (the Baptist) what you have seen: The deaf hear, the blind see, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.” (Mt 11:4 0
Believers who come to Mass this Sunday, Epiphany 2013, will hear the gospel of the three wise men who followed the star all the way to the Light-Child, Jesus. In our poverty, we who walked in darkness have seen a great light. (Isaiah 9:2) We will carry that light out of the Church and into a waiting world.