25 Mar 2017

This Week Letter – March 26, 2017

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Dear Parishioners and Friends,
One of the most favorite images of the early Christians was the image of light and darkness. From it begins the second reading of the fourth Sunday of Lent: “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light,” (Eph 5: 8).
This image is often referred to in the New Testament. Jesus says: “And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil” (Jn 3:19). St. John returns to the symbolism of light and darkness: “God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all. 6If we say, “We have fellowship with him,” while we continue to walk in darkness, we lie and do not act in truth.”(1 Jn 1: 5-6). This image is most commonly used by St. Paul. He heard the voice already at the time of the call: “I shall deliver you from this people and from the Gentiles to whom I send you, to open their eyes that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may obtain forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been consecrated by faith in me.”

Acts 26: 17-18). Then he goes back to this theme repeatedly: “the night is advanced, the day is at hand. Let us then throw off the works of darkness [and] put on the armor of light! (Rom 13:12); “For all of you are children of the light* and children of the day. We are not of the night or of darkness.”

(1 Thess 5: 5).

The authors of the New Testament were the children of their time, and they often spoke about the symbolism of light and darkness. The Qumran “Rule of War” begins with the words: “The first appearance of the Sons of Light against the Sons of Darkness” (I, 1). The “rule of the community” encourages: “To love all the Sons of Light, each according to his divine service. Hate all Sons of Light, each according to his guilt, godliness with enmity “(I, 9-10). The Apocryphal “Testament of Levi” concludes with a call: “Behold, my children you have heard all things. So choose light or darkness, the Lord’s Law, or the works of Beliar “(XIX, 1). The Pentefres’ daughter will say to Joseph: “Blessed is the Lord God who sent you to deliver me out of darkness and bring me to light” (Joseph and Asenet, 15:13).
The call to live in the light called for the holy life. There is only a timeless question: Are the universality of the metaphor used and the knowledge of their meanings translated into their realization? How do you and your sister use Lenten time to get out of the darkness? Look how continually you hate others, those who speak another language or who have come from another culture, who are of different skin color, who are different in their religion. Have you learned this in the church or Jesus wants this from you? Maybe you go to church and you are under the influence of the prince of darkness. Take a look at your conscience, stop counting the sins of others, because the moment will soon come and it will be too late.

God bless!