O Radiant Dawn, splendour of eternal light, sun of justice: come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death.
Oriens – Dayspring.
O Come, Thou Dayspring from on high, and cheer us by thy drawing nigh; disperse the gloomy clouds of night and death’s dark shadow put to flight
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly;
your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the LORD shall be your rear-guard.
But for you who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.
By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.’
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.’
‘It is I, Jesus, who sent my angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.’
Reflection by Father Coutts
O Radiant Dawn
About a century ago, an important job was that of the Lamplighter. Each night he would light each gas street lamp so that the people would not stumble in the dark. Then just before dawn, he would start at the end and extinguish all the lights till he came to the town centre. A little boy said to him: Sir, you have such a sad job, turning off all those street lamps. Ah, said the lamplighter, but when I turn off the last one, the sun has come up and I am the first to see the dawn of a brand new day.
O Oriens – is the Latin for Radiant Dawn or Morning Star. It is the next messianic title of Jesus. It is based on the well-known Ch.9 of Isaiah. “People who have lived in darkness have seen a great light.” Darkness seems to be the pattern of our world today. We have turned to more violence, drugs and suspicion as we face the issues of today. There is a darkness of isolation and loneliness, of insecurity and uncertain future, of economic and health issues. So when Jesus the Radiant Dawn arrives, we greet him with joy and hope.
We have all experienced darkness: a total and complete darkness that seems impenetrable. It brings about fear and uneasiness. Then there is a glimmer of light, followed by the dawn and everything is transformed. There is a feeling of warmth and well-being. This is what Jesus Christ, the Radiant Dawn brings to us. He brings us several blessings with the light.
In the first place it brings clarity to our minds either when making major or minor decisions. Major like: changing careers, moving houses and locations. Minor: dealing with bosses/employees, the relationship with neighbours and co-workers.
This light helps us to prevent misunderstanding. It helps us to see the actions of others without being critical or judgmental. As Pope Francis would say: “Who am I to judge?” This light eliminates envy and jealousy, it helps us rejoice at the success of others – not to be downcast with set backs. But most especially the Radiant Dawn brings us inner peace.
Jesus Christ is the Radiant Dawn who was enclosed in a tomb after the Crucifixion. But the darkness of the earth could not snuff out the Radiant Dawn. He burst out on Easter Sunday morning – in all his glory just as he promised he would.
Examen: Are there areas in my life, in my relationships with others, that the Light of Christ wants to enter? What are the fears in my life that block this Radiant Dawn?