Living Candles

The Word was the light.
The light has come into the world.
Light amid darkness.
Life among death.
The flame has flickered out
As wars have raged and
Genocide has run rampant.
Murder and violence—
The “legal” murder called war.
Abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment—
All life issues.
And yet darkness reigns.
Greed, violence, exploitation.
The poor are oppressed and trampled down.
The rich and haughty rising.
They have not been pulled down.
They amass more and more
While others have less and less.
Darkness continues to reign.
Lives lost to hunger and preventable illnesses
While defense budgets grow and grow.
People living on a dollar a day
While some make millions an hour.
Grain silos full to the bursting
Yet others are starving.
Darkness, darkness everywhere.
Hope came in a homeless, refugee child
An immigrant into Egypt.
He rose up to oppose empire
And the wiles of the priestly caste.
He healed. He showed compassion.
He fed the hungry
He gave drink to the thirsty.
The Light shone for a while.
Then, it flickered out.
Light emerged into darkness
Only to be snuffed out by darkness.
The Constatinian church arose;
Nonviolence went down the tubes.
The culture of death emerged.
The church embraced empire.
Darkness reemerged.
The light has flickered from time to time—
Maximillian, Francis of Assisi, Benedict,
Dorothy Day, Dan Berrigan, Teresa of Calcutta,
Franz Jaggerstetter, Maximillian Kolbe,
The Jesuits of El Salvador,
Gandhi, Martin Luther King,
Cesar Chavez and Oscar Romero,
The Maryknoll women.
The torch of nonviolence needs to be relit.
It needs to be an eternal flame
And not an occasional flicker.
Nonviolent resistance to evil
Will bring life to death
And light to darkness.
We are the face of Christ.
Let us light the light—
One candle at a time.
We are the candles.
The light comes into darkness
And brings great hope.
The mighty will be toppled
And the poor will be raised up
By the light of life—Christ Jesus.

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