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SUNDAY SCRIPTURES FOR MARCH 10 | Come out of the darkness into God’s wonderful light

No matter our actions, we are always given the opportunity to have the light of Jesus shine upon us again

If we were asked if we prefer light to darkness, we might immediately say the light, but doesn’t it really depend on the activity or the time of day? We like darkness when we are trying to sleep, in general, although some people like to have a night light on. It can give some people a sense of security and a way of acting against the fear of the dark. Anyone who still processes photographic film loves darkness. Darkness can be helpful when we look out to the skies to see God’s creation in the planets and the stars. The dark has its own purpose and its own gift.

Light can be a gift in the same way. It illuminates and accentuates the patterns, borders and crevices that make things and people interesting. The right kind of light draws attention to itself as well as the object it illuminates. Light is a gift when we’re trying to find something or find our way. Light is necessary for life to continue. Light can also be too bright and too intense. Too much time in the sun can be harmful to our skin, and we need protection.

There is really no automatic right or wrong answer to our preference of light or darkness. But when we let light and darkness represent good and evil, then we have a way to answer. If light is good, then that is what we should prefer. If darkness is evil, then that should be what we try to avoid. Sometimes we make the opposite choices even though we know better.

Even when we choose to take a path into darkness or evil, we are always given the invitation and the opportunity to have the light of Jesus shine upon us again. That invitation is shown to us most often in the love of other people, even when we have made the most horrible and evil choices. We are often blessed with those who are faithful to us, even when we don’t deserve it. They are reminders of the light of Jesus that is still available to us as we hide in the darkness.

Guilt and embarrassment can keep us from seeking the light. We may even believe that since we consciously chose to be sinful, God wants nothing to do with us. That belief is evil. God always loves us, forgives us and seeks us out. God’s light, love and forgiveness is always available to us, if we simply acknowledge its presence and say yes to it. What does that mean, and how does that work?

In the midst of our shame, embarrassment and guilt, seek out the sources of God’s love. Come to the sacrament of reconciliation. In that sacrament, it is the priest’s job to absolve us of our sins and to convey God’s unfailing and unconditional love for us. Come out of the darkness into God’s wonderful light.

As we make our way through these last couple of weeks of Lent, let us take advantage of every light, grace and blessing that God is offering to us. Say yes to what God is offering to us right now. If God is calling us to reconcile in some broken relationship, do it. If God is asking us to be more generous than we are being right now, do it. If God is asking us to serve someone or some group of people that you’ve never really served before, do it. A light will fill our lives like never before. That light will bring new growth and draw us closer to Jesus.

Father Donald Wester is pastor of All Saints Parish in St. Peters.

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