Aloha Friday Message – March 16, 2018 – 1 light, 1 dark

1811AFC031618 – 1 light, 1 dark

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John 12:31-36 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die. 34 The crowd answered him, “We have heard from the law that the Messiah remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” 35 Jesus said to them, “The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light.”

John 12:26 26 Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.

¡Que la bendición esté siempre con ustedes y que Dios los bendiga, Amados! (May blessing always be with you and may God bless you, Belovéd!) It is already THE Fifth Sunday of Lent and the time for the Third Scrutiny for our Elect. In just a few days – March 31st at the Easter Vigil – they will receive the Sacraments of Initiation – Baptism, Confirmation, and First Holy Eucharist. These kids are so ready for this! Our two candidates are also working toward full communion and will finish up their sacraments on Easter morning. We are excited for them, and their excitement is plain to see as well.

Today we are using a verse from the Gospel of John – part of the Cycle B readings – but our kids will be hearing readings from Cycle A which include Ezekiel 37:12-14, Psalm 130, Romans 8:8-11, and the story of Jesus’ dear friend, Lazarus, found in John 11:1-45. You can see all of that online by clicking on this link. In the Cycle B Gospel from John 12:20-33 (follow this link), Jesus is speaking to a group of Greeks who have come to see him. He is telling the crowd that he is going to be lifted up and will die, and they just can’t understand. The Apostle John consistently uses the image of Light when describing Jesus. Jesus is the Light that shines in the darkness. The crowd does not realize how close and heart-wrenching the darkness Jesus is foreseeing as he describes his death.

The Jews in the crowd protest that they have been taught that the Messiah will be eternal. They ask, “How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” Indeed, who is this Jesus who is Light, and Truth, and Grace? The Apostle John tells us in John 8:12 12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” If we are followers of Jesus, that first of all means he is leading us. If he is leading us we will never walk in darkness. If we are following him, we are walking in the light of his Glory and Grace (↔ Music Link). John 12:26 26 Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor. How will the Father honor the servant of Christ?

The one who follows Jesus walks in the Light of his Word. Jesus is the Word made flesh (John 1:14), and the only begotten Son of God. It is easy to skip over that important word only. If we read just a few more lines farther down the page we come to John 1:18 which says 18 No one has ever seen God. The only one, himself God, who is in closest fellowship with the Father, has made God known. New English Translation. (NET) The NABRE notes for that passage state that the Greek term used in this verse for The only one is monogenēs theos μονογενὴς (monogenēs) { mon-og-en-ace’} Θεὸς  (Theos) {theh’-os} literally, “one (monos) of a class, (genos)” hence the only one of its kind. God is Light. Jesus is God. Jesus is Light. We who follow – walk with – Jesus walk with the Light. While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light. Believe, and become children of God (John 1:12).

There is one (1) Light and that Light is God. But what of the darkness? Is it also one? I am reminded of a fictional story that circulates around the Internet fairly often; it’s called “Does Evil Exist?”. It is about a college professor who claims to be an atheist. He challenges anyone in the class who believes in Jesus to stand up prove their faith is valid. One student stands and the exchange between the professor and the student form the testimony of faith the professor wishes to refute – but cannot. He claims that, since God created everything, God must have created evil. At one point, the student asks the professor, “Professor, does darkness exist?”

The professor responded, “Of course it does.”

The student replied, “Once again you are wrong sir, darkness does not exist either. Darkness is in reality the absence of light. Light we can study, but not darkness. In fact we can use Newton’s prism to break white light into many colors and study the various wavelengths of each color. You cannot measure darkness. A simple ray of light can break into a world of darkness and illuminate it. How can you know how dark a certain space is? You measure the amount of light present. Isn’t this correct? Darkness is a term used by man to describe what happens when there is no light present.”

This is seemingly a winning argument, and indeed – even spiritually – we might say that Spiritual darkness is a term used by people to describe what happens when there is no Light present. Spiritually, though, there is 1 Light and that Light is our Triune God who is a living God of Power and Might. Spiritually, there is also a being who is darkness because in him there is no Light. Returning to the Letters of the Apostle John, we come to 1 John 1:5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. Satan is darkness and in him is no Light at all. And yet, we have many people – thousands upon thousands – swearing that light is darkness and evil is good (See Isaiah 5:18-23, especially v. 20 which reads in part 20 Ah, you who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light). There is 1 light and there is 1 darkness in the Spiritual War we act against, but that darkness is not merely the absence of Light, it is also the presence of evil and every bit as real as the Light we follow and eventually become. This is what the Apostle Paul meant by this passage from Ephesians:

Ephesians 5:8-16 For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light — for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. 10 Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; 13 but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14 for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” 15 Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, 16 making the most of the time, because the days are evil. And if the days are evil, then we must not be asleep but rather vigilant: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-10 1 Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. When they say, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them, as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape! But you, beloved, are not in darkness, for that day to surprise you like a thief; for you are all children of light and children of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness. So then let us not fall asleep as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober; for those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who are drunk get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him.

God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – is our Light: 1 Timothy 6:16 16 It is he alone who has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see; to him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. Let us therefore be followers of the Light described by Isaiah 2:5 O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord! If we are in that Light, we are of the Light, and we will share the Light as we carry the Light. Light grows by giving it others. Jesus spoke of his life as a grain of wheat in John 12:24: 24 Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. The “fruit” of Light that is shared is much more light just as the fruit of the grain is much more wheat. Choose Light and choose Life. Then, when we are transformed at the end of the Age, we will know what John meant in Revelation 21:23-27 23 And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. 25 Its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. 26 People will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. 27 But nothing unclean will enter it, nor anyone who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Those who choose darkness will have it as their eternal heritage. Those who choose Light will share it in Heaven with God, and all his good angels and all his dear saints.  Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. It is time for the Light to drive out the dark; the Light has come. Blesséd be God forever!

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Belovéd!

Share-A-Prayer

  • For JE – a lifetime of illnesses and suffering, now dealing with psoriatic arthritis and experiencing much pain and frequent falls.
  • For IDC – on the verge of beating breast cancer and now faced with brain cancer.
  • For RR and her entire family grieving the passing of another loved-one.
  • For all the chronically ill who endure pain and many other discomforts, please, let’s make time to be in unity with another mind; and then make room for another mind; and then make room for another mind; and so on. Especially for NAS, RB, KD, MT, DP, LC, KW, FO, and AD, Let us pray to the Lord. LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER.

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture passages are from the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Aloha Friday Messages by Charles O. Todd, III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

Biblical languages inserts from Bible Hub (Bible Hub: Search, Read, Study the Bible in Many Languages) Visit at http://biblehub.com

 

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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