On retreat once, I prayed with John 1:5“the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” “And,” my retreat director said, “it never will.” It’s hard to believe that these days. Closed borders and lethal bombings, environmental crises and millions in exile, racism, homophobia, hunger. We have all but forgotten that people, even more than theologies and ideologies, matter most. But, scripture reminds us.

Simeon finds peace cradling the Christ childfulfillment of the word, salvation of every people, light to all nations. Yet, still a child. A person. John implores us to remember: we who hate others are fooling ourselves into thinking that we live in light. We cannot experience the divine if we fail to care.

I must put down my anger, hatred, and fear of people. Advent is over. I have waited long enough. Now is the time for light and love.
—Eric Immel, S.J. is a Jesuit scholastic studying philosophy at Loyola University Chicago. He also serves as a Jesuit vocation promoter and is a prolific author.