Sunday 26 March 2017
Sun 26th. Fourth Sunday of Lent. IS 16:1,6-7,10-13; Ep 5:8-14; Jn 9:1-41.
‘The night will soon be here when no one can work. As long as I am in the world I am the light of the world.’ John 9:4-5
The themes of life and death, light and darkness, and this world and the world above, run through the Gospel of John. There is great darkness over the earth. Terrible things happen in my world. They happen in my family life and they happen on my streets. I see it domestic violence and road rage and mass shootings and terrorist attacks and indiscriminate bombings. Over and over again. Jesus warns us of this evil. He is unable to do anything to stop it. When he was arrested in the Garden Of Gethsemane, he said to those arresting him ‘this is your hour, and the power of darkness’ (Luke 22:53).
So Jesus warns me that darkness will have its hour. There are moments when darkness will seem impenetrable and ‘the night will soon be here’. But he also promises me that he is the light of the world, and that those who follow him will never walk in darkness (John 8:12). In my sadness, will I let the darkness overwhelm me, or can I hold onto Jesus’ promise that my darkness can be overcome by his light?
I wish I had the joyous hope of the Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky. In the last year of his life, on the last page of the harrowing story of The Brothers Karamazov, I read the following dialogue: ‘Karamazov,’ exclaimed Kolya, ‘is it true, as religion says, that we will all rise from the dead, that we shall see each other again, all of us, Ilyusha too?’ … ‘To be sure, we shall rise again, we shall see one another again, and we shall joyfully recount all that has happened to us.’ Replied Alyosha, half-laughing, half-eager. ‘Oh how lovely that will be!’ said Kolya.
Dear Jesus, in my darkness, remind me of your light. Deepen my faith in you, let me walk in the light of your transfiguration and resurrection.