Sr. Phyllis Jaszkowiak
March 14, 2021
Our readings today speak of darkness and light. As we look at our planet, and ourselves, we see that both dark and light are necessary. In darkness seeds germinate. In the darkness of the womb humans are formed. In darkness we rest.
If however we stay only in the darkness, do not move on, we wither and die. Part of that withering is feeling overwhelmed by grief and loss, destressed by what is happening in our lives, in our family, in our country and world. Things begin to seem impossible to improve. We become depressed and lose hope.
It is then we seek the light. Plants need light to grow and bloom. We, humans, need light to grow and thrive. So we seek the light. The light we seek to become fully human, is knowing the God within, who loves us no matter what.
The first reading, from Second Chronicles, tells of the downfall and destruction of Israel, being led into captivity and slavery again. The people lived in the darkness of selfishness and greed and then the darkness of captivity. Psalm 137 tells of their hoping for light, for freedom. The light does come through another king, Cyrus of Persia. He freed the Israelites, told them to go back to their country, rebuild it, and gave them resources to help in the rebuilding.
In the gospel, Jesus tells Nicodemus, who comes in the dark, to seek the light, which is God’s Son, Jesus the Christ. “For God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.” Those who “Live the truth come to the light.”
In our own lives we continually search for the light, for truth. Sometimes we mistake the lure of money or power as the light. Sometimes we mistake domination over others as the light. Sometimes we mistake having everything we ever wanted as the light. So we follow these ways and end up in a darkness of wants that can never be satisfied and never lead us to light and life.
Jesus, the true light, shows us the real way to the light, through his own life and teachings. There was a question I read in an essay, “Is Christ enough for you? A good question to ponder as we seek the light of Christ.
To live the by the light of Christ we have to look at all the darkness within ourselves and our institutions, acknowledge it and give it over to God, and let it go. God who is always merciful, shows the way to the Light. “For God so loved the world that God gave the only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish.”
In our Lenten Wednesday Evening Prayer we hear stories of the darkness of racism and prejudice, and stories of the light of the power to struggle against the dark. As JD Duran said he has no answer as to why people attack, verbally and physically, the Asian People. He expressed his worry for his father who might be attacked as he goes about his daily life. JD may have no answers, but he has a voice, which he uses.
The darkness of racism and prejudice must be acknowledged that it is within us, that sometimes we talk and act out of this racism, this darkness, and we need to find ways to act differently. As I listened to JD that night, I know I have to keep acting for change. So maybe someday we could all live in the light of being a community of brothers and sisters, who listen deeply to each other, who look out for each other and care for each other.
Knowing Christ is enough to lead us out of darkness, let us walk in Christ’s light.