A Light into the gloom

Christmas
‘I bring you tidings of great joy. For a Savior has been born to you.’
This is what the angels said to the shepherds, and so I say it to you, ‘A Savior has been born to us, who is Christ the Lord.’
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Beloved in Jesus Christ, we have arrived at Christmas, when God has come into the world, to live among us, to live with us, to save us.
In the Holy Gospel of St. Luke, if you go and read chapter 3, there it speaks of the circumstances of those ancient days, when Christ was born. He says, ‘In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar–when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee,….and during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiphas….’ The Holy Bible tells us the situation of the world then.
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‘It was the reign of Tiberius Caesar.’
This was the Roman Emperor, who cultivated the idea that the emperor was a god, and should be worshiped. Caesar, this dark and gloomy figure, sitting on the throne of the world. – Yuck.
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The govenor of Judea was Pontius Pilate.
This was the man who had Christ scourged and crucified. A letter of complaint was once issued against him: ‘The governor is a gruesome, obstinate man. He is corrupt and predatory; he abuses the people and is executing countless people without trial.’ This was the man who, in order to finance an aqueduct system, simply stole the money from the synogogues. He had only one priority in life: himself.
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St. Luke further tells us, that at that time Herod was tetrarch of Galilee. Herod was an arrogant, blood-thirsty beast; a self-indugent hedonist, he wasted all his energy on his own passions. He killed his father-in-law, several of his 9 wives, and two of his own sons; and to put an end to the Christ-child, he ordered the murder of the little children of Bethlehem.
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At that time also, St. Luke tells us that it was during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiphas. Annas was a poor excuse for a priest; having lost his position, he used his political influence to keep his sons in the office. Caiphas was a back-stabbing, evil person, who discovered one thing: religion as a means to power.
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Friends, this was the historic situation – the state of the world then. Was there really, a more hopeless-feeling time of history? And into all of this – God stepped into the world. ‘And the angel said unto them, “fear not, for I bring you tidings of great joy which will be to all people; for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, Christ the Lord.’
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The Son of God did not come down from heaven to wipe out the Herods and Caesars and Pilates of the world. He comes down from heaven silently, in peace, quietly; a Light into a dark world.
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That Light was in Mary, the Holy Virgin, and it came to St. Joseph. The Light spread – to shepherds and wise men, and it would come to many disciples and apostles. It was a healing Light. But it was quiet.
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Our Lord did not come down from heaven only once, 2000 years ago; he is in this world today. He is born on our altars at Holy Mass, his Light dwells in our hearts and in our souls, in our bodies and in our minds, if we invite him. He dwells silently, in peace.
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God knows what the world is like. He sees the violence and hatred; he sees charlatans leading people to perversion and sin; God knows about the creeps and the terrorists, yet he lives silently in every Christian, in tranquility and peace.
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Friends, the world needs the Light of peace. This is a special Peace, it is the Peace of God. It comes in only one way: doing the will of God, in Faith. If we are living in every detail, the will of God, to the praise of God, then that great peace of Christ will enliven us with his joy.
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St. Francis de Sales says, the worst thing that can happen to us is sin; but the 2nd worst thing that can happen, is anxiety, or worry. Regardless of the external, troubling events of our time; regardless of the external events of our own situation – we do God’s will now, today, this hour – what Christ wants, come what may – and then we have peace.

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‘Lord, you want me to be perfectly honest, then I will, come what may.
‘You want me to show charity, even to my enemies, I will.
‘You want me to be pure and good with my body, I will.
‘You want me to trust you, and not to worry – then I will.
And then the peace of God, which is beyond all understanding, will dwell in our hearts and minds, in Christ Jesus our Lord – as St. Paul says.
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Just before his Passion, Our Lord said: ‘I have told you these things that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have affliction; but take courage, I have overcome the world.’
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If we are doing God’s will daily, praying, Holy Mass, confessing our sins, living for God’s glory – the peace of Christ will flood our hearts and minds.
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It is true, in the world we have affliction, but as the Lord has said: ‘Take courage, I have overcome the world.’
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In these coming days of the glorious Christmas season, let us ask the Blessed Virgin to pray for us;
Mary, help us to hold onto the Light of Christ, and in these days to come, experience the joy and peace of this Christ-Child, who is born to us.

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[Entrusted to the prayers of Venerable Mother Maria Kaupas]

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