2nd Sunday of Christmas (2021)
We are at the beginning of a new year. We shall never forget the year just gone, with all its difficulties. Not that they are over year but at the beginning of this new year we hope and pray that it will be so much better. We pray that life will return to normal, only it will be a new normal. What we have experienced has changed us whether we are aware of it or not. For one thing most of us have found ourselves with more time on our hands, time to think and reflect about life. It is my prayer that we will have reflected more on our faith, by thinking about what we are here for: how are we to use our time as a Christians.
At the beginning of the year we are still very much in the period of Christmas. The gospel today speaks of John the Baptist who is a witness, a witness ‘so that everyone might believe through him.’ He was a witness for the light. As you know light is the opposite of darkness; and as you are also aware the days are now slowly getting brighter, as the light conquers the darkness. Yesterday we enjoyed the most glorious sunshine. I went for a walk in the park. People were out on their own or in their bubbles, happy to be in the sunshine, enjoying the light of the sun. The sunshine puts a smile on our faces and gives us a lift.
Christ is our light, said St John the Baptist. He has come to lift us. His light can penetrate the darkest recesses of our hearts. The light of Christ reveals something of God as well as something of ourselves. The gospel tells us that ‘no one has ever seen God; it is the only son, who is nearest to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.’ Jesus was born in Bethlehem to make God known. John the Baptist was born in his turn to tell us about Jesus. And now we, in our turn, are to witness to Jesus to the people of our generation. Otherwise, what’s the point? Christmas would simply remain a sentimental event that we celebrate once a year, it comes, we enjoy the carols, the lights and the Christmas pudding, but then its over, till next year. It is our duty as Christians to make him known, not just at Christmas but throughout the year. How we do that is something we can pray about now that we have more time on our hands. May the light of Christ change us, lift us up and make us better witnesses. This is why we are here, it was why we were baptized, and it is essentially what will make us happy.