12-23-2018 Let the "Light of The World" Shine Through Us

Our Lady of the Holy Rosary-St. Richard Catholic Church
Journey of Faith
DECEMBER 23, 2018 - FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT
PLEASE PRAY FOR THE SAFE RELEASE OF LEAH SHARIBU AND OTHERS WHO ARE HELD CAPTIVE BECAUSE THEY REFUSE TO RENOUNCE THEIR CHRISTIAN FAITH
Opening Prayer
Scripture Readings
"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.”
(Isaiah 9:1)
LET THE "LIGHT OF THE WORLD" SHINE THROUGH US
Does the Light of Christ shine through you?

At Christmas we celebrate the birth of God’s Word, the Second Person of the Trinity, incarnated in the human person of Jesus, who is the Christ, the “Light of the World. Whoever follows [Christ] will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (Jn 8:12).

Christ’s Light manifests and shines forth in love, truth, humility, self-sacrifice, goodness, beauty, joy, compassion, peace, justice, healing, kindness, generosity, gentleness, forgiveness, mercy, and salvation for the world. Through God’s grace, the Light of Christ already dwells within each of us, at the core of our being.

However, like a densely compressed piece of coal, our hearts can become hardened through our inordinate attachments to possessions, power, prestige, and sensual pleasures so that we do not experience the inherent brilliance of the diamond that lies within the depths of our being, waiting to be unearthed and to sparkle.

Many in the world do not see, nor want to see, Christ’s Light. Rather, they choose to live in darkness, separating themselves from any relationship with God, and the People of God, for fear that their thoughts and actions will be exposed by the Light of Christ. However, Christ’s Light “shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not [and will not] overcome it” (Jn 1:5).

How do we begin to clear away the obstacles that prevent us from experiencing Christ’s Light dwelling within us? We must be willing to leave the darkness of our lives and be exposed to and transformed by the Light of Christ; to repent and seek forgiveness of those thoughts, desires, ways, and actions that separate us from God; to let go and empty ourselves of our inordinate attachments to things, control, prestige, and addictive sensual pleasures so as to provide space for God’s love to flourish within us, and for God to become the center of our lives.

As followers of Jesus and members of the Body of Christ, we are individually and collectively called to give birth each moment of our lives to the Light of Christ—the Light of life—within us. We don’t create the Light but, with God’s grace, we open our heart, mind, soul and body—our entire being—to allow the Light of Christ to shine in us, with us, and through us.

Individually, we may only emit random sparks of Christ’s light. However, as others begin to join with us, the individual sparks can become a collective glow and then a roaring blaze of the Spirit’s fire that will penetrate the hearts of others, and enable them to give birth to the Light of Christ within them.

This Christmas, let us joyously celebrate and embrace the gift of Christ’s Light, Love, and Life to the world.
Reflect on Your Experience

What obstacles prevent you from allowing the Light of Christ to shine through you?

Are there any thoughts, desires, ways, or actions that you need to repent of and seek forgiveness?
U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults   Catecismo Catolico de Los Estadios Unidos para los Adultos  
Compendium on the Social Doctrine of the Church    Compendio de la Doctrina Social de la Iglesia
Videos
"Christmas"

"The Incarnation"

"Christmas" (Bishop Robert Barron)

"Christmas - A Time for Hope" (Fr. Mike Schmitz)

"Who is Jesus" (Bishop Robert Barron)

"What is Evangelization?" (Bishop Don Hying)
Music
"O Come, O Come Emanuel"

"Silent Night"

"O Holy Night"

"What Child is This?"

"Joy to the World"

"Hark the Herald Angels Sing"

"We Are the Light of the World"

"Come and See"
Other Resources
"Be Open to the Light of Christ Encourages the Pope"

"Jesus is the Meaning of Life and History" (Pope Francis)

"We Must Bring Back the Full Religious Meaning of Christmas"

"Let the Light of Christ Shine Through You"

"Shining the Light"

"Let Christ's Light Shine"

"Do You Let Your Light Shine?"

"The Church Must Be Light That the World May See"

"It's Time to Shine or It'll Be Over Soon - A Mediation on Being Called the Light of the World"

Advent and Christmas Resources 2018-2019

Other Prayer Resources

Social Services and Other Charitable Resources

Other Resources on Catholic Social Teaching
Reflection
If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at: aff@hrsrcs.org

 

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