O Radiant Dawn
The Fifth Antiphon: O Oriens
Sun with Rays
Come, and shine on those seated in darkness, and in the shadow of death.
O Dawn, splendor of eternal light, and sun of justice, come, and shine on those seated in darkness, and in the shadow of death.
O Oriens, splendor lucis aeternae, et sol justitiae: veni, et illumina sedentes in tenebris, et umbra mortis.
Just as the natural sun gives light and life to all upon whom its rays fall, so Christ, the Rising Dawn, dispels darkness and brings eternal life and light.
O eternal Sun, come and enlighten us, for where Thou art not, there is darkness, death, and wickedness. "Come and enlighten all who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death."
"But now [you are] light in the Lord" (Eph. 5:18). In the Church the light has now appeared to us on the first Christmas night, on the day of our baptism, daily in the Mass and at the time of Holy Communion, and in the many inspirations and promptings of grace. How thankful we should be for this light, which is Christ.
But we have yet to reach the full measure of the stature of Christ. Alas! we let ourselves be burdened by earthly sorrow, we are distracted by the excitement of the moment, and our spiritual growth is hampered by our attachment to the things of this world. Fervently we should repeat that plea of Holy Mother the Church. "O dawning Sun of righteousness, come and enlighten us, who yet sit in the darkness of suffering, of human reasoning, and of self-love."
The light of Christ will be revealed perfectly only when we meet Him at the time of His second coming. Then we shall be brought into the light of glory, and we shall "shine as the sun in the kingdom of the Father" (Matt. 13:48). "Sown in corruption we shall rise in incorruption" (I Cor. 15:42). May the day of enlightenment come soon!