An Invitation to Peace

Midnight
First Reading: Isaiah 9:1-6
Psalm: Psalm 96:1-3, 11-13
Second Reading: Titus 2:11-14
Gospel: Luke 2:1-14

DawnFirst Reading: Isaiah 62:11-12
Psalm: Psalm 97:1, 6, 11-12
Second Reading:
Titus 3:4-7
Gospel: Luke 2:15-20

During the DayFirst Reading: Isaiah 52:7-10
Psalm: Psalm 98:1-6
Second Reading: Hebrews 1:1-6
Gospel: John 1:1-18 or 1:1-5, 9-14

In our world today and especially in our country, where there is so
much suffering both from natural calamities, such as earthquakes,
typhoons, and floods, and from lawlessness of people, the danger is
for us to despair. Those who can afford migrate to other countries,
others complain and criticize, but do nothing. Still others resort
to violent means, thereby creating more problems and sufferings.
What we need today are people of hope, who follow Jesus’ example of
love, service, and self-sacrifice.

The English writer John Ruskin left us with a beautiful image of
what Jesus wants us to be in our world. In Ruskin’s time,
electricity had not yet been discovered. City streets were lit at
night by gas lamps. City lamplighters had to go from lamp to lamp,
lighting them with a flaming torch.

One night, when Ruskin was a very old man, he was sitting in front
of a window in his house. Across the valley was a street on a
hillside. There, Ruskin could see the torch of the lamplighter
lighting lamps as he went. Because of the darkness, Ruskin could not
see the lamplighter. He could see only his torch and the trail of
lights it left behind him. After a few minutes, Ruskin turned to
the person next to him and said:

“That’s a good illustration of a Christian. People may never have
known him. They may never have met him. They may never even have
seen him. But they know he passed through their world by the trail
of lights he left lit behind him.”

Christmas is an invitation for each one of us to be for our world
what Jesus was for his world: a beam of light in the midst of
darkness, a ray of hope in the midst of despair. To the extent that
we heed the invitation of Christmas, to that extent will the world
receive the gift of Christmas: Peace on earth and goodwill toward
all.

PRAYER
“Lord our God, with the birth of your Son, your glory breaks on the
world. As we celebrate his first coming, give us a foretaste of the
joy that you will grant us when the fullness of his glory has filled
the earth.”

  • bronwyn

    Thank you Food For Thought for this link as it has been a while since I felt CE needed something like a commentary/ interpretation for the daily Bible Readings. Your entries are informative and inspiring. As for today’s contribution, it’s “illuminating”.

  • laurak

    This was a very beautiful reflection for Christmas. The imagery still lingers in my mind long after reading this reflection. I will never forget this story. Thank you so very much.

    And thank you, Catholic Exchange, for a year full of excellent articles, news and reflections on scripture!

    Merry Christmas!

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