"O Radiant Dawn"
Wednesday, December 21, 2022, 4th Week of Advent
by Fr. David M. Knight
View readings for today:
O Dawn and splendor
of eternal light ,
Sun of Justice,
Come! Enlighten those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death!
We compare Jesus to God as the dawn to the sun. The sun is eternal, unchanging, distant. Dawn is the sun born anew on our earth every day, a coming of the sun's light into our time and place. Every dawn is different, and yet every dawn is the light of the same eternal, unchanging sun.
Dawn is the sun "made flesh" on earth: the light of the sun shining red or gold or pink through the particular clouds and atmospheric conditions of each day. At dawn the light of the sun becomes incarnate in the reality of our world. It radiates through, is reflected by, and reveals everything that is on earth.
When we salute Jesus as the Dawn, we recognize in Him the splendor of God's "eternal light." Jesus Himself is the "Sun of Justice": "God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God." But in Jesus God's splendor shines through human flesh, revealed in human terms, expressed in human words and actions. Jesus is the light of God "ever ancient, ever new," dawning to give life to the world, eternally the same, yet new and different every day.
Jesus continues to minister, in every new member of His Body, in different ways. Every person in grace radiates the light of Christ in a particular way. Every human choice inspired by faith reflects the light of Jesus uniquely, according to the circumstances in which it takes place. Every act which embodies God's love for others reveals, not only God, but persons to themselves in a new and life-giving way. Through the faith, the hope, the love that are made flesh in the actions of His Body on earth, the eternal light first mediated through the flesh of Jesus Christ continues to shine on earth, and the Light of the world dawns anew every day.
Today's Opening prayer asks, "May we who celebrate the birth of Your Son as man rejoice in the gift of eternal life when He comes in glory." We celebrate, not only Christ's "birth as man" at Christmas, but Christ's birth for us in every human being who becomes His Body by baptism. If we can recognize the infinite and eternal divine life revealing itself to us in a limited and passing way through the humanity of every person in grace, then Jesus the Dawn appears to us in each one as a reason to "rejoice in the gift of eternal life" -- that divine life which will be ours forever, without imperfection or reserves, when Jesus "comes in glory." The light which shines imperfectly through each of us in time is a promise of the Light which will shine with unmarred glory for all eternity in "that perfect man who is Christ come to full stature" when "God will be all in all" (see Ephesians 4:11-16; 1 Corinthians 15:28).
Every dawn is the promise of another dawn, when the day is over and the night has passed. And every person we see is the promise and reminder of recurring grace calling the whole world out of darkness until that final Dawn when Jesus in His glory will be the Light of the City of God (see Revelation 21:23). And so we pray, Come, Dawn! Enlighten those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death!
Reflections brought to you by the Immersed in Christ Ministry