Sunday, October 19, 2014

Blog # 384 Darkness / Light

Blog # 384  Darkness / Light

           You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people he claims for his own to proclaim the glorious works of  the One  who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light"   These words come from the 2nd  Letter of St. Pater (2 Pet. 2: 9 ).  One morning , before the sun came up on the morning after I had reflected upon this text I turned off  the light in my room and looked at the rug on the floor.  I could not tell what color it was in the dark. I  prayed to be "protected from the darkness of ignorance and sin. Ignorance is a lack of knowledge. Sin is a deliberate choice of something we know to be contradictory of the will of God for us. Those are our enemies and obstacles in the way of achieving God's plan for us, the reason He created us, the gift of God's love.

          From the very beginning of Jesus' ministry on earth His message was not always clearly understood.  Thomas and  Philip both illustrate this for us.(Jn. 14: 1 - 12).  Both of them were Apostles.  I do not think either of them dwelt in the darkness of sin.  Their need was to  free themselves of the darkness of ignorance.  Realizing the presence of such a need in the case of two Apostles, it is easy to see the place and the need for my regular prayer to be protected from the darkness of ignorance.

          In the darkness of the morning with the light turned out I am ignorant of the color of the rug on the floor. Darkness causes me to be ignorant of  truth about the rug.  Ignorance does the same thing on a higher level when it comes to truth about God, creation, neighbors, myself, and Jesus.  I can know something of the truth about the rug in the dark. I can reach down to touch it and know it that way but this is not the complete truth about the rug.

          It can be something like this with regard to the truth about God, creation, neighbors, myself, and Jesus.  Thomas and Philip heard the words of Jesus and no doubt had some idea as to what they intended to say. But they did not understand the complete meaning of the words, nor experience their power in their daily lives. Today, with the world, from nations down to individual families, and
individual people in the shape we are in, it should be obvious that we have need of light.

               Neither our  relationship with Jesus nor the exercise of our faith should  become static and a mere memory no more than it did for Thomas and Philip.  He rose from the dead in their experience of Him.  By faith He has risen in ours.  There is danger of relating to the Risen Christ in the same way we would  relate to the historical Jesus.  The Resurrected Christ has indeed 'gone' to the Father and is preparing a 'place' for us.  We are not talking here about physical realities, a physical place in a physical Heaven, the product of our limited imagination with regard to a reality the Bible proclaims as unimaginable.  We are talking about realities on a higher spiritual plane known by faith.

             Don't we believe now the Father and Jesus are one, that the Father is in Jesus and Jesus is in the Father? ( Jn. 10:30; 14:7- 10; 8:19.  Don't we believe now that we are united with Jesus through faith and Baptism as branches on a vine and as members of a body and its head?  (Jn. 15:5; Col.1: 18,24; Eph. 1:10,22;  Eph, 2 14,16,19;  Gal. 3: 26 -28;  1Cor. 12:ff to end of Chapter;  1 Cor. 10: 17;   Rom. 12: 5; Jn. 17: 20ff).

             Eternal life has already begun!  It is already ours by faith and Baptism.  "Eternal life is this: to know You, the only true God, and Him whom You have sent, Jesus Christ."  (Jn. 17: 3).   " I am with you always to the end of the world."  Mat. 28: 20.)  "Anyone who loves me will be true to my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him." ( Jn. 14: 23.)  All of  these texts have meaning and applications not only in the past or in the future but through faith and Baptism, now. When in our daily experience of life we live the Easter victory of Jesus over all that is evil, knowing, trusting, loving Him, fighting and conquering sin in His name, forgiving one another in His name, praying in His name, dying in His name, united with Him as branches on a vine,  we are already experiencing by faith the gift of eternal happiness in His name.

             All Christians know well the words that describe the event we remember in a special way on Easter.  Anyone who can read can experience the words in the sight of them on the pages of the Gospels. To experience their full personal meaning comes only by faith and love.  This would be something like the difference between reading a greeting on a birthday card in Wall Mart and receiving the card in the mail from someone who loves us. 

           For me, what I have written here throws light on death, the commandments, the questions of justice and peace, prayer and appreciation to God for all that God is doing today. No wonder I pray to be protected from the darkness of ignorance and sin!  How sad it would be to lose or be unaware of such a treassure.      

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