Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Who is more foolish, the child afraid of the dark or the man afraid of the light?

“An optimist may see a light where there is none, but why must the pessimist always run to blow it out?”

Gospel text (Jn 3,16-21):
Jesus said to Nicodemus, «Yes, God so loved the world that He gave his only Son that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but may have eternal life. God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world; instead, through him the world is to be saved. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned. He who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the Name of the only Son of God. This is how the Judgment is made: Light has come into the world and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For whoever does wrong hates the light and doesn't come to the light for fear that his deeds will be shown as evil. But whoever lives according to the truth comes into the light so that it can be clearly seen that his works have been done in God».

Darkness is the absence of light. You can make a dark room light by turning on a flashlight. However, you can't make a light room dark by turning on a "flashdark." By definition, no one can invent a machine that shines darkness which overpowers light. You can only make a room dark by extinguishing the source of the light.

“God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” – John 3:16

This is arguably the most famous sentence in the Bible. I’ve seen thousands of bumper stickers and even signs in certain store windows that read “John 3:16.” But why is this specific quote so popular? I think this verse gives us a summary of the absolute perfect and greatest gift we as believers have received –the gift of Jesus. God sent his only Son to suffer and die. Whether we’ve seen this in our own lives or have watched it from a distance, a parent watching his or her child die or go through suffering is heartbreaking and painful. Jesus did not die for a certain group of people, but for all of humanity, for all of us sinners. God deemed that we were important enough to him that he was willing to lose his son to save our lives. The gift of Jesus is truly a remarkable gift.

Today’s Gospel also reflects on the symbols of light and darkness; the light stands for good while darkness stands for evil. Jesus is the light of world and the Gospel calls us to “come to the light” so that our “works may be clearly seen as done in God.”

Although God is there to guide us to live and love with him, it is certainly difficult to remain in a place of light especially since the world around us is oftentimes a place of darkness. It is our challenge as people of faith to let God help us live in the light and to remove obstacles of darkness from our lives so that we may remain in that light. We do that by our active participation in the spiritual life (frequent reception of the sacraments and a strong prayer life). Our “yes” makes a difference both in our lives and in the lives of others. Our “no” to God, not letting him work in our lives, whether we realize it or not helps spread the darkness in our world of today.

Be a light, plug into the source, God our loving Father!

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