Glory to the Eternal Light

Alternatives to incandescent lighting have been making great advancements in recent years. At first, the high price and cold blue-ish color caused many people to still opt for the warm glow of incandescents. But now you can buy LED bulbs that are relatively inexpensive and have a warm glow that is supposed to simulate daylight. And they claim that if used for 4 hours a day, they’ll last for 35 years. We have made amazing progress in using technology to push away the darkness. When you’re on the highway at night traveling between cities, you can see the glow of the next city long before it is visible on the horizon. But ultimately, all these man-made marvels will burn out or the batteries will wear out or a wind storm will knock out the power, plunging us back into darkness.

And in that darkness, whether from the failure of man-made light or just moving away from its influence, we get the opportunity to see the light of God’s creation stretched out across the heavens. As David said, “For I will behold thy heavens, the works of thy fingers: the moon and the stars which thou hast founded.”  Even on the darkest of moonless nights, God’s light shines on. It only takes the smallest amount of light to pierce the darkness and drive it away because darkness is nothing more than an absence of light. In fact, the only way to be in complete darkness is to choose to shut out God’s light.

That is what we do when we sin. And sometimes in our shame of one sin, we try to hide it and commit additional sins. But God’s light, the Light of the world, the Light of salvation in Jesus Christ, shines on. And on. And on. Jesus, in John’s Gospel, tells us: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Jesus Christ is our eternal light. He is here for us, with us, here to drive away the darkness of our sin, the darkness that man cannot drive away with all the LEDs in the world. And every Mass, His eternal light is available to us in the Eucharist. No other creation, no other act of God’s Will can hold a candle to Jesus Christ.

When God created Adam, Heaven was silent. The same for Eve. When Noah emerged from the ark, the angels said nothing. We are told that “no prophet ever again arose in Israel like Moses, who knew God face to face,” and yet when Moses was born and when he died, and indeed throughout his entire life, while angels of the Lord came to Moses’ aid, the angels did not praise God for giving the world Moses. Even when God created the entire universe, there were no choirs of angels praising Him.

But when the angel proclaimed Christ’s birth to the shepherds, “there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God, and saying: Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will.” How do you suppose the heavenly army, more countless than the stars in the sky, praised God at that moment? Do you think they mumbled some words mindlessly because they felt they kinda should? Because the other angels were saying stuff too? Or did they made the heavens shake with their voices, proclaiming GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST?

When Simeon saw the Christ Child at the temple, he said, “my eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples: A light to the revelation of the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.” Do you revere the Eucharist the same way every time you see it? Do you follow the direction as given in the book of Sirach, when “Blessing the Lord, exalt him as much as you can: for he is above all praise. When you exalt him put forth all your strength, and be not weary: for you can never go far enough”? Or do you mumble?

If you love Jesus, if you adore Him, and if you truly love God, then join with the choirs of angels and saints. Give praise to the Lord God with a voice that shakes the heavens. When you go to Mass, not just your next Mass or Christmas Mass but every Mass, think of the lyrics of our Christmas carols: fall on your knees, hear the angel’s voices, singing “Glory to the newborn King!”… and join them. Hear the heavenly choir singing “Joy to the world! The Lord is come! Let earth receive her King!”… and join their song. Proclaim loudly: GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST AND ON EARTH PEACE TO PEOPLE OF GOOD WILL. At every Mass, at every Eucharist, shake the heavens with your voice of praise for Jesus Christ, our Lord, our God, our salvation, our eternal light.