From the Prologue:
"The people that walked in the darkness have seen a great
light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the
light shined" (Isaiah 9:2).
There where it is the darkest, the prophet fortells there will appear the
light-bearing Messiah. The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali were
considered as the darkest lands. There, the pagans were intermingled with the
Jews; the yoke of external and internal slavery is the most difficult; the
darkness of the pagans and the darkness of the Pharisees covered the people with
the shadow of death. The Light of Heaven shown first in Bethlehem Christ the
Lord was born there.
That Light was seen from afar by eastern Magi and, in the
vicinity, by the shepherds of Bethlehem. But that Light was driven out of
Bethlehem by the bloody sword of Herod and the Light withdrew to Egypt. After
that, the Light shown in full radiance in this land of darkness and the shadow
of death, in the land of Zebulun and Naphtali. In this land, alongside the
lake, there lived fishermen whom our Lord chose for His disciples. In this land
is the Mount of the Beatitudes from which the Lord proclaimed His first great
sermon about the blessed. There, also, is Cana of Galilee where the Lord worked
His first miracle. There, He began His work for the salvation of mankind by His
powerful word and by His powerful deeds. Men saw this great Light and were
astonished. Many were scandalized at the Lord and many mocked Him. But these
men of darkness did not kill Him.
There was another darker spot in the land of
the Jews, which raised its hand against the Creator and killed Him. That is the
same spot from which Herod, thirty-three years earlier, raised his bloody sword,
to extinguish this great Light by blood, i.e., Jerusalem. Of all the darkness,
the darkness of Jerusalem was the darkest. Perhaps the darkest because she
[Jerusalem] named herself as the light.
O Lord, our Great and All-great Light, encompass us by Your light in this
short period of time and receive us after death into Your Light, glorious and
To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.