NOTE: All reflections throughout the Advent season will be available on our homepage and then archived on our Advent 2022 webpage.

The reflection below is from Fr. Joseph Nangle, ofm, Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace, from the 2014 Advent reflection booklet, Waking Up to God in Our Midst: Reflections for Advent 2014.

by Fr. Joe Nangle, ofm
Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace

2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16 | Luke 1:67-79

In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
(Lk 1:78-79)

Candle reflecting

Latin American Christian Catholics call Christmas Eve “la noche buena” (the lovely night). And so it is. The Gospel for this shining moment in salvation history comes from the prophet Zechariah, namesake of the father of John the Baptist, and says it so beautifully: “The dawn from on high shall break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death and guide our feet into the way of peace.”

In the morning He will come as Hope for the generations oppressed by social and racial injustices which bring death. In the morning He will be announced as the “good news of great joy for all the people, a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord” (Lk 1:11).

Yet, despite these glowing predictions as the child of Mary comes into the world, it is clear that His task of “guiding our feet into the way of peace” today remains so unfinished.


What is your understanding of the reign of God?
Does it include working for peace based on social justice?

>> For more Advent resources and reflections, click here.

2 thoughts on “A reflection for Christmas Eve, December 24

  1. Lovely reflection to begin the Christmas season. I would like to comment that it seems to me unnecessary to add “Christian” when describing Catholics. Catholicism is by its very nature Christian.

  2. For someone who lives in an expansive Kingdom of God, the reign of God might be understood as being divinely interconnected with all created things, “plugged into the grid,” being “in relations.” As Richard Rohr says the more interconnected you are, the more Saintly you become. Love subdues fear. Every creature stewards its relationships. Rather than the stewardship inherent in dominion, it is the act of metta (lovingkindness) in every moment: kindness, care and connection so that Peace reigns in service, humility, justice. Social justice, environmental justice, creation justice. When the meek have inherited the Earth.

Leave a Reply