As I consider the “O” Antiphon for today, so many images flash across the screen of my mind, so many beautiful experiences of sunrise! You have heard me effuse as I watch the color that precedes the approach of morning brighten the sky and give glory to God just outside my bedroom window. The miracle of color is surpassed only by the constancy of morning light. Even on the cloudiest or rainiest of days, we can count on the fact that light will surely come and offer us the hope of a new day.
The memory that spoke the loudest in me this morning was my experience of sunrise at the top of Mount Haleakala in Hawaii. People told me that it was a “must see” that meant getting up and in the car at 3:30AM and negotiating the many hairpin turns (more hair-raising coming down!) to sit in the freezing darkness and wait for the moment of sunrise. As the light began to penetrate, shapes appeared all around us: people who had been hidden by the darkness when we thought we were all alone on the mountain! There was no sound, just a large cohort of people sitting on the rocks, bundled in blankets, facing East and waiting in the silence…and waiting…and waiting. The expectation was palpable; we knew that the sun would absolutely not disappoint. And come it did – first the soft light, then the rays and finally the miracle itself bursting into presence over the mountain to thunderous applause and shouts of joy!
What calls us to such an experience of what happens every day? Can it possibly be the sense that sunrise is one thing that we can count on, regardless of what is happening in the world and in our lives? Whatever the cause, the visceral effect is sometimes so vibrant that the only reasonable reaction is like that day on the mountaintop: unrestrained joy that the miracle has happened again…and again…and again. If only we were willing to wait for it every day, our lives might feel lighter.
If only we might wait for the rise of Christ consciousness with every dawn of our waking, our hope might increase. And so on this fifth day of the “O” Antiphons we lift our hearts and pray: O Radiant Dawn, you bring God’s light into our darkness. You are the rising sun, the morning star that brightens lives and lifts spirits. Come, blaze in us and cast out all fear!