“O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: come, shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.”
Today’s O Antiphon calls Jesus the Radiant Dawn that shines on those who dwell in darkness. The Gospels make a point of depicting Christ as one who gives sight to the blind. The kind of blindness Christ heals is connected to the first human sin. At the beginning of human history, human beings lived in a state of the perfection of what God had created them to be at that point. They were not deities like God, but they enjoyed the union with God they were made to have in this world while in a state of human perfection, meaning without sin. Being without sin meant we did everything with an eye genuinely aimed at placing God’s will above our own, toward glorifying God over ourselves. Human beings cut themselves off from that perfect union by preferring to obey themselves, who were part of creation, rather than obeying God who created them. Thus began humanity’s tendency to be dominated by worldly distractions from God as the ultimate aim of everything human beings did. We no longer lived in the perfection of what we had been created to be on this earth. That perfection had been corrupted, and that corruption led to human pain, lust, toil, and ultimately death. We could not find our own way out of the shadows back to God because once we had cut ourselves off from our Creator, we were blinded by creation. We needed God, who would come as Christ – that Radiant Dawn – to restore our vision. This restoration resulted in a reorientation of that vision through faith toward eternal union with our Creator as the ultimate aim of Christian existence in this life. The more we allow God to clarify our focus on that ultimate aim, the less dominated by worldly things we become. The less dominated we are by worldly things, the more we are able to enjoy them in ways that lead us toward God, rather than away from Him. Every time you see a Christmas tree, make that sight an occasion of gratitude for the glasses we can all be gifted by the Divine Eye Doctor.