Sunday Reflection (January 5, 2020)

Imagine violent barbarians settling on the coast near you (and you thought we had immigration issues). What would you pray? God, sent those barbarians back across the sea from whence they came! God in your wrath destroy those pagan barbarians! God may those barbarians learn our language and become like us! What would you pray?

This very prayer was prayed as Barbarians swept across Western Europe: “Everlasting God, the radiance of faithful souls, you brought the nations to your light and kings to the brightness of your rising. Fill the world with your glory, and show yourself to all the nations; through Christ who is the true light and the bright and morning star, even Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen (Latin Sacramentary, 5th-7th Cent. Alt.).

How successful was that ancient prayer? Consider that the language that we speak, English, is the linguistic descendant of the varieties of Anglo-Saxon. They later became Christianized and they are the linguistic ancestors of our language, English. Now you know how successful that ancient prayer was.

Having been enlightened and transformed by the light of God’s love, may God’s love shine forth through us. May those who have yet to embrace Christianity find the love and fellowship of God among us. May even our enemies see the light of God’s love through us.

The Wise Men began the procession of Gentiles to the God of Israel through Jesus Christ which is where we find ourselves: Gentiles embraced by the God of Israel through Jesus Christ (Matthew 2:1-12). Paul calls it a revealed mystery (Ephesians 3:1-12).