December 13 is St. Lucy’s Day. Though not much is known about her, from the fourth century onward, stories were circulated among Christians about Lucy, her faith, and her death which came about because of her faith. From early on, especially in Scandinavian countries, Lucy’s feast day took place during the annual celebration of the winter solstice, a time of heightened appreciation for the powers of light over darkness. Candles and light play a large part in celebrations of St. Lucy’s Day.
During the season of Advent, the church has been hearing the words of John the Baptist, who “came as a witness to testify to the light…He himself was not the light, but came to testify to the light.” (John 1:6-8) Christians believe that Jesus is this light, the light that enlightens, strengthens, heals, forgives, and loves all. Jesus is an all-consuming light, who chases away any darkness that threatens to damage us or do us in.
Like St. Lucy, we can help others see, appreciate, and bask in the light of Christ. We can “lighten up” with gratitude when we realize that we are not the light. We don’t have to be the light ourselves. When we act in loving ways, when we show mercy or kindness to others, when we speak up for what is right, or work for justice, we are pointing to the light of Christ.
We lighten up when we acknowledge that Christ is the Light. We “lighten out” as we point to him and try to follow him, and especially when we (like St. Lucy) put God before every other thing in our lives. May the light of Christ and the faith of St. Lucy guide us.