Fourth Sunday of Lent
Why is it that light makes such a difference in your life? That might sound like a simple question. First, think about the marvelous power of your eyes. Have you ever stopped to marvel at how your eyes gather light waves and allow your optic nerve to transfer images to your brain? Then, voila, somehow you are seeing a tiny, delicate wildflower or a majestic mountain.
Light works wonders in lifting your spirits after enduring a series of dark dreary days. You might be in good physical shape, but without sunlight, our moods can be dark, sad, and prone to being negative and pessimistic. As you may know, for special cases, there are even light therapy fixtures to brighten your day.
Thinking about the gift of light reaches its highest meaning when used in today’s Scripture readings. From the very beginning, God chose to create light and thus separate and define the evils of darkness. From then on, light has always been associated with the work and goodness of God. And of course, light reaches its highest expression in the person of Jesus, who is the perfect revelation of the Light of God.
Imagine, for a moment, the light of Christ shining through you and in what you do. You have heard that wonderful saying: “It’s better to light one little candle than to curse the darkness.” That’s so true, but it implies you must first of all choose to be a light-bearer. It begins with an attitude of humility. That means allowing the light of Christ to shine past whatever filters or obstacles might be yours.
The Gospel assures you that Jesus the Savior has come to be with you as your hope even as dark curtains seem to have descended upon our present world. You can choose to see things differently. You can choose to see the Light of Christ overcoming the darkness. What does that look like?
Every time the power of truth confronts the signs of a lie, that’s the light of Christ at work. Likewise, when someone changes a negative conversation to a positive, constructive direction, that’s the light of Christ shining through. Every time some person steps forward in courage to point out the needs of the common good for all people around the world, that is a light pushing back the darkness.
We all love a spectacular light show indoors (lasers) or outdoors (fireworks!). Why not imagine your part in bringing the Light of Christ to be an essential part of every human light show so badly needed these days? We all must cooperate to make it happen.
1) When was the last time you could have brought the light of Christ to a special moment or conversation?
2) What prevented you from bringing the Light of Christ, even if a small flame, into the darkness?
Reflection by Fr. Daniel Petsche, OSB