Dear Columban Friends,
I like Christmas lights. In many areas around St. Columbans, there are marvelous displays of Christmas lights. When I was missioned in Chile, I enjoyed the lights in what to me was summer weather! No matter the weather, Christmas lights bring a wonderful feel to the whole season.
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.” Is this our experience? When we see all the confusion and darkness of our world, do we think of Jesus as being the light? What could He mean?
There is the darkness of ignorance, of oppression by others and depression suffered by many. There are many people who have no hope and ask whether they should keep going on with life. Many also suffer with the tedium of the regular routines of life. What does it mean to say that Jesus is the light of the world, when we think about the many dark things of life?
One thought that comes to me is that light helps us to see what is already there. With the coming of Jesus, we can see what is already there. Jesus came to tell us and show us what is true about God. The story of Jesus casts light on the truth of God’s wonderful love for each and every one of us.
The early followers of Jesus came to see the truth that God is intertwined with the whole universe. God’s ongoing creating of us, of the trees, the animals, the earth and everything we can think of, is an amazing truth that is wonderful for us to take in.
The message of Jesus brings light to a solely scientific understanding of the world. Christ is the light that helps us to see that God’s love embraces and sustains the whole of creation. To ponder this truth helps us to know more deeply the power of love. Jesus is the light, but He also spoke of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit has been at work since the very beginning of time. The Spirit hovers over the chaos of our world and brings forth form and beauty, but would we have come to know this is Jesus had not been the one to reveal the truth of God and the universe? If Jesus had not been the light, we would be much poorer.
Like our Columban friends and supporters, we missionaries have also seen that Christ is the light that overcomes the darkness. This is the missionary impulse. We want others to see what we see.
As we celebrate and remember that baby in Bethlehem, the light of the world, we remember all those who are still searching for the light wherever they may be. Let us pray for them. Let us continue our missionary effort. In this way we continue the work of God the Father who sent His only Son, the light of the world.
Gratefully yours in the Infant Jesus,
Fr. Chris Saenz | Director, U.S. Region
The Missionary Society of St. Columban is entrusted by the Holy Father with part of the Church’s mission to spread the Faith and saving work of Christ.” (Vat.II) The Society works under the guidance of the Sacred Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and under the leadership of the bishops. We are listed in the U.S. Official Catholic Directory published annually by P.J. Kennedy and Sons. As such, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service recognizes us as a religious not-for-profit corporation, therefore contributions to our work are tax deductible. We employ no outside professional fund-raisers and pay no commissions.