Thursday, April 5, 2018

In Christ's Light , we find joy!

MARCH 11, 2018

Jesus, I trust in you!

The tragedy of the Babylonian that has befallen upon the Israelites was the fruit of their sins: “…all the princes, the priests, and the people added infidelity to infidelity, practicing all the abominations of the nations and polluting the Lord’s temple…They mocked the messengers of God, despised his warnings, and scoffed at his prophets, until the anger of the Lord against his people was so inflamed that there was no remedy.” That is why they had no one to blame for their sufferings but themselves. However, the rise of Cyrus, King of Persia, brought to them great joy. Cyrus ordered the rebuilding of the temple of the Lord and also the return of the Israelites to Jerusalem to end their slavery.

The proximity of Holy Week is the reason for our rejoicing today. Why do we rejoice at the approach of Holy Week? Is it not the time to commemorate the sufferings of the Lord? Then why do we rejoice instead of becoming sad? The answer is this: the approach of the days of the Lord’s suffering marks for us the nearness of our salvation. As the rise of Cyrus to power marks the liberation of Israel from their slavery in Babylon, so also the lifting up of the Son of Man upon the wood of the Cross will mark our liberation from our captivity to sin: the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. God loves us and he does not want us to perish. He does not want to condemn the world. This is why he sent his only begotten Son to die on the Cross: God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.

The reason for our joy is the great love of God for us: Because of his great love for us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, God brought us to life in Christ. God, indeed, is rich in mercy. He offers us the light of Christ as a way out of the darkness of this world. All we have to do is to approach the light which Jesus offers. And it surprises us that people preferred darkness to light because their works were evil. Why would people prefer darkness to light? It is because the light exposes the ugly face of sin. Isn’t darkness deceiving? That is why beauty pageants are done not at midday but at night. A friend once told me: Father, when I meet a woman I fancy, I first ask her out for lunch so that I could verify her beauty under the light of midday. People are afraid to draw near the light of Christ because they know that he will expose the ugly face of the evil within us. But if we want to be saved, we must draw near Christ’s light so that realizing the gravity of our sins, we may repent and confess them so that we may be forgiven. Operating tables are equipped by powerful lights to assist the surgeon in their operations. So are dental chairs and derma clinics. Assisted by powerful lights, the doctors can clearly see the tumors, the cavities, or the blemishes that they should treat. It is when we expose our sins in the light of confession that they are forgiven by the grace of God’s kindness to us. Only then will we be liberated from the sadness of slavery to sin. Then we shall rejoice in the truth. Let us then expose and confess our evil works so that we may be freed of them. In Light there is true joy. “Whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.”  

O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

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