Thursday in the Fourth Week of Advent

Today's Mass Readings


Several years ago the Ministerial Alliance’s clothing and food pantry in Stanberry, Missouri was getting vandalized in the back alley. One of the ministers suggested putting up cameras. Considering our modest budget, I recommended installing motion-activated lights instead. Sure enough, once the new lights were installed, the shenanigans stopped.

Today is the last of the pre-Christmas O Antiphons: O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice; come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and shadow of death. Zechariah was an old man “in the shadow of death.” At the annunciation of John the Baptist’s conception, he was incredulous and struck dumb. Now seeing his promised son born to his aged wife as the angel proclaimed, his faith is renewed. Now he looks forward to the divine light that exposes sin and disinfects better than sunlight.

St. John of the Cross said that we do not notice the spots and imperfections on a pane of glass until it turns to the sun. We have been turning into the light of the coming Christ. This light however is not just exposing and sanitizing, but like sunlight to plants, He is life-giving. Let us walk in this Radiant Dawn, whom we commemorate coming tomorrow, and who comes into ready hearts daily.

Reflection by Fr. Pachomius Meade, OSB

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