By the Light of the Son
One great relief after a cold, dark winter is to see the gradual return of longer daylight hours, even if the cold sticks around for a while longer. We’re back up to around 10 hours and 15 minutes of daylight, gaining around three minutes with each passing day. At the winter solstice, December 21, the shortest day of the year, we were down to around 8 hours and 40 minutes of daylight in this part of the country.
With relative ease of access to electricity now, at least apart from periodic power failures, and other technological means of lighting our homes and buildings, there’s still nothing else quite like the sun’s own rays to brighten not only our eyes but our moods as well. They say that almost all energy present on earth today ultimately originates from the sun, either directly in heat and light or through the food chain of green plants or other organisms that can harness its power. Even the fossil fuels we use are thought to have come from creatures that lived on earth and received their energy from the sun thousands of years ago.
In much the same way, we confess that every good and perfect gift of God’s grace comes to us through the Son, Jesus, our brother according to the flesh and our Lord and Savior according to the Spirit. Indeed, all gifts of nature and creation are also made and sustained in existence through God’s eternal Word, by whom God speaks, “Let there be light,” to give us light, the same Word who became Incarnate in Christ for our salvation. The third Eucharistic Prayer confesses that it is through Christ that God bestows “on the world all that is good.”
And no alternative, no artificial imitation or substitute light could ever fill us and sustain us the way that the true Son desires to brighten and warm our days. As the light of the sun continues to return to our part of the earth with longer hours, and as we approach that great season of Lent, a time of retreat and spiritual renewal for the whole Church, may the Light of Christ also increase more and more in our minds, in our hearts and in all our actions. Only the Light of the Son, the Sun of Justice, has power to cast out the darkness of sin and vice to bring new life, love, and energy to our souls and bodies unto eternal life.