Christ Came to Enlighten You
As I looked over the Gospel reading and you can see there are about twenty verses including some that are in the passage but not in the reading. However, I want to focus on just one sentence. It describes Jesus and it describes us. If you read the whole passage you can see that the Gospel talks about how Jesus will enlighten us and in Him we become children of God.
It is important that we do not forget this. We through our Baptism and Confirmation as well as through our prayer and experience with God have been given a wisdom that the world does not know or understand.
You may not see or recognize it, but it is there. There are others that will react in ways that demonstrate they do not understand our Catholic faith or our connection to Christ and others who dismiss it. We cannot let that discourage us. In fact, we must continue despite it. Why? Because just as John the Baptist came to testify to the light, so too is our mission today. Just as he was called to point to first coming of Christ, so must we prepare others for the second coming. Keep in mind that it does not matter if Jesus comes tomorrow or we die in twenty years and stand before him then either way for each one in either moment it is second coming.
Therefore, our mission is to testify to the light of Christ.
People are afraid, they are frustrated and even angry over the events of the past year. Further, there is a lot of confusion over what is coming down the pike next year. Will we be free of this virus thing, what will the next four years be like in our country. What is happening in our world? There are all kinds of questions in people’s minds.
Further, I read about such a thing on the internet called the great reset which is some kind of economic change in our world. I figured this was some kind of conspiracy theory but actually it is not. It is some kind of real thing.
However, what if we are experiencing a spiritual reset not from some billionaires in Monaco, but in our faith and our life from God himself.
Many are decrying the restrictions on Mass and that is understandable. However, maybe God is giving us this time to start looking at our own faith life and see how we are living it. What is God saying to us in light of our mission which is to testify to the light which is Christ? This is a great time to ask ourselves how well we are testifying to the light of Christ.
There is a profound story of Gideon where God had him send almost thirty thousand soldiers home to fight a similar size army of the Amelikites. Gideon was left with 300 and with that three hundred God showed Gideon the power of defeating Amelikites by God’s hand not Gideon’s. General Patton used a similar technique to help defeat the NAZI’s in World War II.
You and I have a mission which is to be the light to the world and the salt of the Earth. If you look carefully at the prologue of John, a part of which is today’s Gospel the focus is that John testifies to the light which comes to enlighten all.
How does this light enlighten, by bestowing on us a wisdom that makes us see in a whole new way. This is the true reason why we have to turn from sin and turn toward Christ. Sin obscures the wisdom of God in our life and even blinds us to it. Then we have nothing to offer others for we see no differently than they do. However, when we turn from sin and turn towards Christ then we see things differently. Then we enter the world of acting in a way that is prophetic. Which is the mission we have from baptism. We also become powerful witnesses to the truth of the Gospel.
Remember, this is a process. In the first letter of John, there is the warning that says if we say we have not sinned the truth in not in us. It is a lie to say we have not sinned, but we can trust Christ to forgive our sins if we repent and then we grow in the light that leads us away from sin and to enlightenment in Christ.
The need for this enlightenment we can find in the words of Pope John XXIII
who said that we cannot possibly attain those truths which exceed the capacity of nature and the grasp of reason unless God enlightens and inspires us.
This is the point. We can find in reason alone proofs of the existence of God. That is like finding in reason alone proofs of the existence of the star we call the sun. However, to understand how that sun affects us we cannot figure that out without information that is beyond us individually. So as Pope John XXIII teaches the truths we learn from our relationship with Christ are beyond that which we can understand through natural reason. This is why there is such a clash between the those who reject the existence of God and those who believe. That clash is between separate understandings of the human being. As I have said before—separate anthropological understandings. Two or more completely different understandings of who we truly are.
You and have a calling to be witnesses to the truth that is found in Christ in the same way that others have a calling to be witnesses to teachings of the science of epidemiology. God may be putting us through the great reset of faith and calling us to listen powerfully to what he is teaching us for in the near future our fidelity to Him will be essential in all corners of this country and maybe the world.