Light of the World

"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."
(John 1:5)

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With the Church, we pray for an increase of light:

O Oriens, splendor lucis aeternae et sol iustitiae: veni, et illumina sedentes in tenebris et umbra mortis.
O Dawn, splendor of eternal light and sun of justice: come and shine upon those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

That’s the antiphon for December 21, which the Church prays at Vespers as the longest night of the year begins. It is a hymn to Christ, who is the “dawn from on high” proclaimed by St. John the Baptist’s father, the Levite priest Zechariah (see Luke 1:78).

As we bring another challenging year to a close, we yearn deeply for the spread of Christ’s light. We pray for the world, which has spent another year under the shadow of death. We pray for our families, in which the general suffering has been all-too specific and deeply felt. And we pray for our Church, the Bride of Christ, that she may be the true bearer of Christ’s light.

A new year of grace

At the Augustine Institute, we are eagerly anticipating a new year of grace, a year we will dedicate to sacred studies and the work of evangelization and catechesis. For me, 2022 promises to be a year evermore devoted to God’s Word. I am eager to share my love for the Bible with you in my Daily Reflections and in additional meditations that will be made available on our new AMEN app. With my colleagues in the Graduate School of Theology, I invite you to let the Word of God illuminate your minds through our Short Courses and our Lectio Bible studies, available on FORMED.org. And with our publishing division, I rejoice that we will be promoting the ESV-CE Bible in new ways next year. And please pray for our release of a new religious education curriculum that radiates God’s Word, our Word of Life K-8 curriculum, which will begin its release in the spring.

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I would especially like to urge you to join the Augustine Institute in our annual remembrance of the triumph of God’s light by reading the Bible in a Year: Your Daily Encounter with God. As the psalmist observed, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). Amid the darkness of our world may you know the consolation and guidance of that light. Jesus spoke about the Word of God, the gospel he proclaimed, using the same image, asking, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand?” (Mark 4:21). Help us put that lamp on a stand for the world to see, by supporting our ambitious mission. Since we rely upon your partnership in all the works that we do, we will be giving copies of the Bible in a Year to all those who respond to this annual appeal with a gift of $50 or more.  

Christmas is the celebration of the Light of the World, our Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that you will be filled with the light of Christ this Christmas.

Shalom,
Tim Gray
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