On Thursday I spent a day off with my priest brothers at Santa Cruz. In late afternoon, after our run on the beach and swim in the ocean, our bike rides along the coast and energetic discussions over beer and sandwiches, we were all quietly reading in different parts of the house. I was perched on the roof, overlooking the sun’s golden sheen on the vast Pacific. What an immense body of water! During our swim that morning I was reminded how heavy water is when our frail bodies got tossed about like ragdolls in the crashing waves. From that roof I could see hundreds of square miles of water, which in the Monterey Bay extend twice as deep as the Grand Canyon. Who can fathom the weight of that water? And yet, during our morning run, the tide was out. The entire Pacific Ocean had been pulled a few feet to the west. Who or what could move trillions of tons of water like that? We know that it is the moon that does that, just by being there, by the force of her gravity (in most languages, the moon is feminine). And yet, of course, the moon is just a speck compared to the sun.
The ancients described Our Lady as the moon, who is “nothing” in comparison with God, the Sun, the source of all light and heat. She reflects God’s glory and in faithfully reflecting God’s beauty, she attracts. She exercises an immense gravitational pull, moving mountains and seas, and that is why she is still on our Christmas stamps, with Jesus in her arms.
She was the first to perfectly reflect God’s goodness, but we do that same, please God. With a smile, with a bit of understanding love, we can move people from darkness to the light that will illuminate tomorrow’s night, Christmas Eve. A blessed and merry Christmas to all!