23 June 2011

I think it was the Venerable Bede

who first commented on the connection between our Lord's Nativity and St. John the Baptist's, some six months prior.  After our Lord's nativity, the light begins to grow; but after St. John's it begins to fade.  "He must increase but I must decrease."  It seems odd at the start of summer (at least up here in the northern hemisphere) to be thinking already of the days growing shorter.  But such is the case.  From now until the winter solstice, there will be less light in the sky each day.  And that's a reminder as well how our earth lags behind the heavenly realities - for the Kingdom has already dawned in the Resurrection and yet its full joy and light await the day of the Parousia.  We live in the "catch up" time.

1 comment:

Terry Maher said...

The time is approximate in the northern hemisphere, and totally inapplicable in the southern. The Julian calendar, which was in use in Europe until 1582, puts the Summer Solstice about mid-June, before the actual festival day of the Nativity of John the Baptist.

And of course nobody has the slightest bleeding idea on what day either John or Jesus was born except relative to each other.

But, if one must have theology as poetic imagery, maybe the southern hemisphere has it better -- light increasing from around the time of the Nativity of the Baptist to around the time of the Nativity of the Christ at the Summer Solstice in December! If only there had been some rootin tootin OSBs in the southern hemisphere around old Bede's time! But we English hadn't even gotten ourselves to-gether yet let alone to go conquer them!