Grace to you!
We continue our Christology-based reflections. That is reflections based on the understanding of the nature of Jesus as the Christ. I started this theme since last week.
Visualize a man appearing at the Court of Women in the Jerusalem temple about 2000 years ago. It was during the feast of the Tabernacles. Also called the feast of "The Illumination of the Temple." During this feast, elders are orbited in the Court of Women, and four enormous Candelabra are set. At the thick of the night, the Candelabras are lit. They brighten the entire night while the people chant and rejoice to the song— "Light of God." The light is so bright that those in Jerusalem, not present at the feast, will see it.
Imagine. Close to the time of the lighting of the Candelabra, the man, Jesus, appears at the Court of Women. He makes a bold claim. "I am the Light of the World; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the Light of Life" (Jn 8:12).
Bold! Daring! Stunning truth. This truth is one of the central messages of the Paschal mystery. That is the mystery of the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Darkness is one of the most dreaded things for humans. Consider a night without electricity. People will grope in darkness. It will be depressing. Awful.
Shakespearean novels have a way of striking at the core of darkness, as many of the horrific plots were set to take place in the dark.
The writer of the Gospel of John captured in a brief suspense, the mental state of Judas in his plot to betray the Lord. "So, after receiving the morsel, he (Judas) immediately went out, and darkness had fallen" (Jn 13:30).
We speak of bloody and morally horrifying plays as dark. In the darkness, we lose the luster for glory and praise. Our joy is sucked, and our spirit is crushed. When darkness fills a soul, the person becomes utterly lonely. Depression isn't farfetched.
I am not speaking of the darkness the spiritual writers talk about as the dark night of the spirit—the journey of the soul to God, a holy experience. I am referring, in part, to the dark night of the senses when we feel the emptiness of the gratifications, which keep us from being entirely in the light.
Wanton lust and insatiability, deceit and unbelief, are four of the manifestations of this darkness at the personal level. At the social level, bloodied hand, greed, malice, racism, and injustice are some of its traits. Darkness reigns in any place we see hate, injustice, lies, and violence.
Amidst these, Jesus Christ answers: "I am the Light." To the dark world, "I am the Light." To the depressed soul, "I am the Light." He is the light which will lighten our soul and bring us to the bosom of divine love.
Lent is a time to rediscover this light. It is not the light of the sun or camp-lights. Instead, he is the light which in the beginning was and is with God. The light is God among us, Christ the Lord.
Pray with me: Lord, let your light illumine the darkness of my heart and the world. Heal our land. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Monday, Lent, Week 5: Dn 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30; Jn 8:12-30]
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.