"The light shines in the darkness, a darkness that did not overcome it." John 1:8
In the liturgical year of the Catholic church, the Christmas season will continue until January 8, the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus.
We celebrate the light, Jesus, that shines in the darkness that engulfs this world. We cannot deny the darkness. 2022 has been a tough year, an extremely challenging one for many of us all around the world. We have been to some dark places, and for some of us, there is no light at the end of the tunnel. It can be easy to give up, to lose hope, but the thing is, sometimes God does bring us to dark places because that is where growth occurs.
"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies, it bears much fruit." John 12:24
If we leave seeds in the packet, it will remain seeds. But if we plant it in soil, it will grow. God is our gardener and we are His garden, it says in 1 Corinthians 3:9. Our gifts, talents, dreams and goals are just like seeds. Sometimes, we can only see the growth and blooming after it is planted in a time of darkness, of frustration, and even failure. Our resourcefulness, ingenuity, creativity, comes forth in new life.
Yes, if we stay in faith, trusting God, refusing to get bitter or pessimistic, God can bring new life out of darkness. Even where Jesus was born two thousand years ago, in Bethlehem, they are still deeply divided. There are grumblings of war between Israel and Jordan. In many places, there is still no room for Jesus to dwell. But just as He brought new life from Mary's dark womb on the first Christmas morning, and new life from Calvary's tomb, He can bring life and healing and restoration to every heart who welcomes Him.
So if we are seeing some darkness now, the message of Christmas is "the light shines in the darkness". It is not time to despair or feel defeated, but time to rejoice! New life is coming! Let us receive Him with joy!