What the moon tells us about Advent

I did not take this photo and I’m fairly certain this isn’t in my town. It’s pretty though, isn’t it? https://unsplash.com/photos/6msS8vT5pzw

This morning, we had a spectacular view of the full moon as it was setting over the horizon. It was stunning, floating above the dark winter blue land and amidst the pink and purple sunrise sky. Throw in a healthy remnant of December snow on the trees and rooftops and you get a fantastic picture of winter light.

The moon’s an interesting fixture in the Advent landscape. We spend the season looking for light to dawn, most often focused on stars or the return of more warmth from the sun. But we forget that the light has been with us all along in the presence of our faithful Sister Moon.

St. Francis of Assisi’s “Canticle of the Sun” praises God through the witness of Brother Sun, Sister Moon, and many other wonders of the created world.

Praise be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon
and the stars, in heaven you formed them
clear and precious and beautiful.

Paying attention to the light of the moon in this dark season also invites us to remember the source of the light. The moon has no light of its own — it is merely a reflection of the sun’s light, illuminated and shining back for us to see here on earth. So it is with God’s light and its interaction with us. The light of God shines upon us, lighting us up, calling us out of darkness into fully illuminated life. We do not create the light ourselves. We witness it, proclaim it, welcome it, and praise God for it.

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