On Christmas Eve, my Mom, my Mom's husband, and I watched It's a Wonderful Life, then we went to midnight mass. The priest's homily was about how Jesus was a light amidst darkness, and how we----who have Christ inside of us----should be lights in the darkness, too.
It's difficult to be light in the darkness, when we ourselves have so
much darkness inside of us. I was thinking about this last night when
the priest talked about us becoming worthy through Christ to be in God's
presence. I thought to myself that I certainly was not worthy! But
then I reflected: I'm no more or no less worthy than most other people!
my opinion, everyone is a mixture of light and darkness. In some of
us, the light is stronger. In others of us, the darkness is stronger.
And then there are a number of cases in which we fail to cultivate the
light that is within us by loving others because we are swamped with our
own problems. This world is a mixture of light and darkness. There
are plenty of people, both Christian and non-Christian, who can bring
themselves to care for at least someone, even people they may not know. And yet, the world can be a pretty cold place.
On It's a Wonderful Life,
George Bailey was a mixture of light and darkness. He had light
because he cared for the people of his community and supported his
father's ideal that people should be able to have decent and affordable
housing, for their sake, and also because that would make them better
citizens. George was compassionate towards people, acknowledging when
they fell on financial hard times and seeking to work with them when
that was the case. What's more, George was light in the midst of
darkness, for, without him, Mr. Potter would have taken over, and people
would have been resigned to living in his shoddy yet expensive slums.
there was also darkness within George, for George was bitter because he
had to stay behind in Bedford Falls (which he considered a crummy
little town), when he wanted to go out and see the world. He needed to
be reminded that what he did (and what he had) truly mattered.
I've said before, I'd like to think that George and his wife got to see
the world! I know that such a story is non-existent, but it can exist
within my mind, I suppose. In my opinion, those who are lights in the
world----the clergy who take the time to help their congregants with
their problems and their challenges, parents, etc.----should get a
decent vacation to help them to recharge their batteries. Even Jesus
needed to take a rest, every once in a while. He did that when he
recharged his spiritual batteries by praying, and also when he went on
retreats with his disciples. A person's light can get beaten down, and
perhaps even extinguished, when he or she does not take the time to rest
and to rejuvenate. That does not mean that a person becomes evil
without rejuvenation, but rather that a person may become bitter,
frustrated, unhappy, or uncaring if his or her spiritual batteries are
Anyway, those are my disorganized ramblings for today! Have a good Christmas!