Light – March 2020

You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.
Live as children of light,
for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth.

Eph 5:8-14

My Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

Within the Gospels during the season of Lent, there is a sense of mission, or of being sent. In the Scripture of the Fourth Sunday of Lent, Samuel is being sent to find the next king. David is chosen and is sent to lead the nation. Jesus ministers to a blind man, whom he asks to go and wash in the Pool of Siloam (which means Sent) and he returns with the ability to see. This man who could now see is sent to proclaim the Good News, even though he finds non-believers, or others who are blind. We too are sent, as St. Paul writes to the Ephesians that we are light in the Lord and we should live as children of light.

This too is the essence of Jesus’ journey. He is sent to us by the Father. He is sent to proclaim the Good News to us and we are called to follow Him, but in this following, we are sent forth. We like Him are on our way to Jerusalem, the symbolic heavenly home. We find, however, a distinction between the knowledge of the journey and the journey of the heart. The blind man who was granted the ability to see had the knowledge of the act of seeing. It was when he witnessed his faith, began to live his faith, that he also recognized others who could not see and the difficulty of disbelief was a test to his own faith.

St. Paul encourages us to live in the light for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth. Light shows all the bad things too. Light brings out the ugliness of degradation and brokenness. Jesus shows us the goodness and the difficulty. On earth, He lived it! He accompanies us, as Pope Francis said, in the ecology of the heart, the cleansing of our mind, body and spirit so that the light can shine forth. Pope Francis says, “We struggle to distinguish the voice of the Lord speaking to us, the voice of conscience, the voice of goodness . . . Jesus invites us to listen to what matters, to what is important, to the essential.” We are challenged both to see and to be light for others.

In our world today, there is much polarization. No one is at fault and yet it seems to always be the fault of someone else for the pain and suffering inflicted upon the sacred body of Christ. The effect of the information about the coronavirus divides our communities. Our reaction may not always be that of being the light; rather, our own fear may cause divisiveness and a retreat from our Lenten journey. For example, if we are with a group of people, and someone sneezes, our normal reaction would be to say, “God bless you!” Recently, if a person sitting near us during the celebration of Mass happens to sneeze, we wish to back away from the individual instead of giving him/her a blessing.

“God’s light does not shine on those who shine with their own light,” Pope Francis reminds us. “It is always very tempting to confuse God’s light with the lights of the world.” God’s light is manifested in humble love and it shines forth on those who are prepared to accept it.