We have finally hit rock bottom. Today is the darkest day of the year. Here in Richmond we get 9h 33m of daylight, St. Petersburg Russia less than 6 hrs.
How do we respond. Tomorrow we light the final candle of the advent wreath, and Tuesday night we gather to celebrate the coming of the Son.
Today's first reading is in complete opposition to the darkness. It is often associated with weddings. From the Song of Songs we hear:
Hark! my lover–here he comes springing across the mountains, leaping across the hills. My lover is like a gazelle or a young stag...For see, , the rains are over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of pruning the vines has come, and the song of the dove is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines, in bloom, give forth fragrance. Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one, and come!
As winter is beginning the reading reminds us that it is only a temporary thing. The Son of God is coming into the world, the Sun of Justice. He will bring not just a temporary Spring but the eternal Spring, when all things will be made new. He is the light that no darkness can overcome.
On this darkest day, let us shine the light of Christ ever more brightly on the world around us. In just a couple of days we will gather to remember the moment when God was born as one like us, and changed the universe forever.