Birth of Jesus Brings Light to Earth’s Darkness
Echoes from the past ring true today
Eighty-seven years ago, Fr. Justin Figas, OFM Conv., shared this message with his listeners on the Fr. Justin Rosary Hour:
“Let us turn back the pages of history to two thousand years ago. We will see a bleak, sad and painful image. This is the time that the prophet decried ‘darkness covers the
earth, and thick clouds cover the peoples.’ The whole world succumbed to a pagan darkness, faith in the true God disappeared, and nations bowed down before gods and goddesses created by the darkened minds
of the pagan wise men.”
This holds true today as well: the pedophile scandal plaguing the Roman Catholic Church; unimagined polarity between Democrats and Republicans; and the murders at the Tree of Life
Synagogue in Pittsburgh are but a few examples.
“Truly darkness was over the earth,” said Fr. Justin, “and the earth walked in the shadows! Here and there, however, there were noble souls, such as Plato, Socrates and
Aristotle who tried to raise the people from the darkness and above the level of depravity and immorality they had sunk into; but to no avail.”
It was, according to Fr. Justin, a “time when darkness ruled the world, it was a cold and repulsive night.”
But, as he points out, “during such a night two thousand years ago in tiny Bethlehem, a miracle happened … an incomprehensible and amazing miracle. A child, the Son of God
and our Savior, was born.”
Fr. Justin urged his listeners to follow him “in spirit towards that destitute stable … in which lies the Savior and Teacher of nations, Supreme Wisdom and Preacher of
God’s Teaching, hidden in the form of a helpless child.”
It is there, “He will say to us: ‘My beloved people, I am the Lord your God; I am the Creator of heaven and earth, and in spite of this I am not only your friend, but also
your brother. I come to you, taking on a human body with all its weaknesses; I will suffer with you as I have already suffered here in the stable among cattle. Love for you has compelled me to leave the heavens,
to come to the earth. This same love will nail me to the cross! I beg you only to love me, to listen to me and to want to follow my example!’”
“Our times,” said Fr. Justin “are similar to the time before the coming of Our Savior. Darkness reigns; strange rules and vicious theories are proclaimed. Human minds
go astray and claim to look for the truth, but instead spread errors and untruths. Faith in the real God is disappearing, and lack of faith and paganism spread far and wide. The deterioration of customs,
breaking not only the laws of God but also natural laws under the cover of progress, and false education excites and enslaves human minds. Two thousand years ago decadence, exploitation, power and violence
reigned. A child, a woman, a laborer, the sick and the poor were all condemned to a sad, difficult and painful fate.
“Today decadence is called the freedom of speech and deed! Today the exploitation of male and female workers is practiced the world over. Power and violence sit on their thrones.
Two thousand years ago, children were thrown away onto the street or garbage piles to die of hunger; today already in their mothers’ wombs they are poisoned or murdered other ways. Two thousand years ago a
pagan philosopher and wise man wrote: “A laborer does not deserve to be called a citizen, as he has no nobility of disposition and is no different from slaves.” And today? Merciless employers earn
colossal fortunes not only thanks to the sweat but even the blood of laborers. They are treated without mercy or justice. A poor laborer is treated as a tool for the employer’s own personal goals and
“What is the cure for all of this evil which has taken over the world?” asked Fr. Justin. He quoted Pope Pius XI, who wrote: “may society […] return to our loving
Savior!” Or as Pope Leon XII wrote: “It will at length be possible that our many wounds be healed and all justice spring forth again with the hope of restored authority; that the splendors of peace
be renewed, and swords and arms drop from the hand when all men shall acknowledge the empire of Christ and willingly obey His word.”
In a few weeks the whole world will celebrate the remembrance of the coming of the Savior – may the whole world wish to quickly return to the Savior – may
all the nations unanimously sing: “Glory to God in the highest” and angelic choirs sing “and on earth peace among men in whom he is well pleased!” to the tired and pained world!