Arise, shine out, for your light has come, and the glory of Yahweh has risen on you. Look! Though night still covers the earth and darkness the peoples, on you Yahweh is rising and over you his glory can be seen. The nations will come to your light and kings to your dawning brightness. Lift up your eyes and look around: all are assembling and coming towards you, your sons coming from far away and your daughters being carried on the hip. At this sight you will grow radiant, your heart will throb and dilate, since the riches of the sea will flow to you, the wealth of the nations come to you; camels in throngs will fill your streets, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; everyone in Saba will come, bringing gold and incense and proclaiming Yahweh’s praises.
This is a wonderful promise that has begun to be fulfilled, for where the Gospel comes and is accepted, the light rises and the darkness must depart!
How much the Lord can transform a person’s life. Saul becomes Paul, despondent disciples become powerful proclaimers of the Gospel. Rich people can be so struck by the light that they leave everything behind to serve the mild Jesus, fornicators become chaste! The Lord accomplishes all this and the light rises upon nations!
Of course, we also know the other side, the horrible things that have happened and are still happening!
And yet the promise remains and continues to work. This day, which we celebrate in the Catholic Church as Epiphany, reminds us of the appearance of the Lord for all peoples! We also call it the Feast of the Three Kings. These three kings or magi represent the peoples who come to the Lord and are touched by his light!
For us who are listening to the meditation, this light has fallen into our darkness. It has enlightened us so that we may recognise Jesus as the Son of God. Perhaps it has already become self-evident to us and things that are too self-evident to us tend not to be so important to us, we do not perceive them sufficiently in their value.
When we then see the joy and enthusiasm of those who find faith in a completely new way, we remember that it is not so self-evident that we are allowed to know Jesus! It is a great grace, the great happiness that all people seek. How many people used to long to meet God and how many are still looking for the light today?
It is all the more important that the light that is given to us does not become dark, but that it becomes brighter and brighter!
One way not to slide into indifference is to thank the Lord every day for the grace of faith and to renew and deepen our love for Him again and again! Together with the conscientious fulfilment of religious exercises, we can ask Him: What, dear Lord would please You today?
What can I do that is especially pleasing to You?
With these questions, the spirit of piety, one of the seven gifts of the Spirit, becomes especially active. For this gift not only makes us avoid what does not correspond to God’s will, but also seeks to please Him! If we ask God about it, he will also answer us! Maybe it’s just asking for small things, maybe it’s a serious attempt to work on us more so that we love more, maybe it’s an invitation to spend more time with him, to do a certain work of mercy or other things…
There is still so much to do for the evangelisation of the nations! Many people are still waiting for an encounter with Jesus!
Today I would also like to remember St. Joan of Arc, who was born on this 6th of January in 1412 in Domrémy, France. She is our patron saint in a special way and her extraordinary mission always attracts our attention. Her story is well known, that she was called by God to play a decisive role in freeing France from the yoke of foreign domination and she gave her life for this mission of the Lord.
Since saints are probably further connected with their mission in heaven, we see that especially Joan of Arc can become a great help to defend the freedom of our faith and also of the nations against the encroachments of anti-Christian powers.
Increasingly, a scenario is emerging in this world as if the reign of an Antichrist is being prepared, who could exercise world dominance with both political power and the corresponding financial means. We must not be deceived: In such an empire, our faith would increasingly come under central attack! Those who hold on to the traditional values and views of the Catholic Church today are very easily sidelined. Unfortunately, this is now also true within the Church!
If we find fewer and fewer models of faith, we should not forget that the earthly Church does not represent the whole dimension of the Church. Angels and saints are waiting to help us. They live perfectly united with God, in them God’s will communicates itself undiminished.
Joan of Arc is certainly ready to help people in these dark times. Like her, we should place all our trust in God and accept the daily struggle that is especially incumbent upon us in these apocalyptic times. The enemies of God and the Church are not overpowering and we must not be intimidated by them.
It is still necessary to proclaim the Gospel (cf. Mt 28:19-20) and to testify to it by our own lives. The Virgin of Orleans is only waiting for us to ask her to come to our aid and will ask God for the courage and strength we need for this fight.
The Lamb will be victorious.
It is written in the Book of Revelation: “they (the powers of darkness) will go to war against the Lamb; but because the Lamb is Lord of lords and King of kings, he will defeat them” (Rev 17:14).
Come Lord Jesus, Maranatha!