Sometimes the way light catches something mesmerizes me. I watch how something sparkles or changes colour and wonder if that is how God’s Light influences me. Today’s Second Reading from Ephesians 5 encourages us: You are light. Live as children of light. In the alternative readings today, the theme is Light. Today is Laetare Sunday–a day for joy in the middle of Lent. A day to celebrate the Light that has overcome the darkness. Whichever Gospel is used today both talk about Light. John 3 says that the light has come into the world, but people loved the darkness more. John 9 shares the story of the man who is blind from birth–who has lived in darkness all of his life until Jesus heals him.
When I took my Introduction to Religious Studies course, I had to write a creation myth. I chose to write a story that said we were once all Beings of Light until we fell from Grace. I got 100% on that paper. The story burst forth easily from me. I think I understand that we are Light and we must live as children of the Light. Perhaps that is where my fascination with light comes from.
The inner most workings of our heart show whether we are striving for the Light or the dark. The disciples ask Jesus a question about the reason this man is blind, casting blame on him or his parents. Jesus stands in the Light and responds neither. Our minds and heart are limited. We must find a reason for our predicament. I know some people may be wondering what I have done to have liver cancer. I have lived a clean life–not much alcohol and no street drugs. I have gotten my vaccinations when I have traveled to faraway countries. I have tried not to harbour anger and pettiness. It seems like such a cruel joke on the one hand. On the other hand, I do ask myself, why not me? Who is cancer reserved for? I remember years ago when my friend Ginny was sick I raged about the unfairness of it all. My thinking perhaps has evolved some. No one deserves to suffer and as with Samuel in the First Reading as he peruses all of Jesse’s sons, he does not see with God’s eyes when trying to pick his successor. The Lord looks on the heart, we are told. The Lord knows the answers to questions we have. Only the Lord can explain why some things happen.
The Lord alone knows my heart and I would humbly say that the Lord is pleased. As with Jesus and the blind man, he does not blame me for my illness. I do not love the darkness more than the Light. I know I am Light. I am a child of the Light. I am rejoicing and praising my Maker on this Sunday in the desert, where Hope springs and promise of a resurrection is near. A paraphrase of the Entrance Antiphon would be: Rejoice! Be joyful all who were in mourning; exult and be satisfied. Raise your voices. Turn towards the Light.