A Light Shall Pierce the Darkness

His birth did not come with fanfare however, angels trumpeted the news. His parents were not of royalty, but he was the King of Kings. He was born in a dark stable, yet he is the Light. In a world of turmoil, he became peace. Jesus became everything to a people who had virtually nothing.
It was foretold and still holds true today, Jesus’s birth would be miraculous. “All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,’ which means ‘God is with us,’” (Matt. 1:22-23).
A sign would be in the heavens that a Savior was born, but not just an ordinary sign. It was the manner God chose to reveal the sign that is most remarkable in my eyes. He was a helpless child, yet full of wisdom and power. “Nations shall walk by your light, and kings by your shining radiance,” (Isaiah 60: 3).
It is odd how God uses the unlikely to be a sign of contradiction to the world. We too must be the same.
How many Christmas seasons pass celebrating in the usual way: gifts, food, parties, decorations, shopping, shopping, and more shopping? The real Christmas meaning eludes us. Instead of feeling rejuvenated and joyful, we feel worn and tired. Oh yes, the lights are attractive; the goodies are delicious, the gifts are to die for, but somehow we often leave the season feeling empty.
However, like the babe in the manger, we can do something counter cultural and celebrate Christmas and its richness in a different way.
This Christmas – this holy season – this day – be a light in the darkness. It is too easy to be penetrated and assimilated into the darkness of this time: violence, wars, and murders. There exists every manner of sin, until we do not call it sin anymore: it is merely someone’s right to choose to live as they wish. Shockingly, it is considered acceptable even if they harm themselves or another. We often do not value ourselves or others as we should.
We can easily get depressed about these things. We can give up hope and become darkness like the world. However, we are called to be the Light like Christ. We cannot walk on water, but we too can perform signs of wonder. We can bring hope in a hopeless world. For instance, visiting a sick neighbor with cookies and a smile might make her day. In this Year of Mercy, forgive a long-standing enemy or forgive yourself for shortcomings. Do with less this Christmas, I assure you, you will receive the greater gift.
Mother Teresa knew all too well our hunger for God’s love and His light in the world. She encouraged it and reportedly had a fitting poem inscribed on the wall in a Calcutta home for children. Called “Do It Anyway,” Mother Teresa knew we must become the light that pierces the darkness. She also knew that often the world would scourge and ridicule us for doing so. Mother Teresa, though, encouraged her sisters and us to continue on the path. This version, provided by prayerfoundation.org, reportedly was written by Dr. Keith Kent. The following reworked version is in Calcutta.
Do It Anyway
People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

This Christmas Season, choose one of Mother Teresa’s “Beatitudes,” as I call them, and live it! You will be lighting the world one loving flame at a time.

Copyright 2015, Mary Mitchell

Mary Mitchell

Mary Mitchell

Mary Mitchell, from Chicago, is a devout Catholic who likes to mix the divine truth with humor. She thinks it's the only way we can get through this life! Mary is the mother of three and has been married to her husband, Philip, more than 20 years. She has attempted to live the vows as a Secular Franciscan for about 20 years, but has a long way to go.

2 responses to “A Light Shall Pierce the Darkness”

  1. Luciano Corbo says:


    This was a very touching post. Full of contrasts and examples of humility, humbleness and forgiveness. How sad that many of us, myself included, get caught up in all the `noise`of Christmas and miss the quiet whisper of the Lord Jesus Christ calling on us to be with Him.

    God Bless


    • Mary Mitchell says:

      Thank you for your very kind comments. I also still get caught up with the busyness and noise of Christmas. Maybe one day we’ll relearn how to keep Christ in Christmas.

      Does anyone out there have suggestions?

      May the peace and joy of the Holy Family be yours this Christmas, Luciano and all!

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