From darkness to light

Why does it have to be “a light in the darkness”? Why can’t it be a light in the light? What do I mean? Very simply, why does there have to be darkness in life? Why can’t we just have it all easy? After all, we deserve to have it easy. We are good people. We treat each other nicely. Why do we have to struggle? This of course is one of the great mysteries of life. I do not intend to try to answer to in this reflection, mostly because I do not know the answer.

Nor do I know the answers when I try, despite my total inadequacies, to minister to those in need. I think of the time recently when I stood before a family at the cemetery as they buried their twenty-three old daughter because of a horrific accident on the Long Island Expressway or when I tried to help a former work colleague whose brother committed suicide right before Christmas. I can’t explain that darkness. Nor can I understand my own petty struggles. Nor can I understand what I see as I gaze on the crucifix above my desk as I write this reflection. I can’t explain the reason for any of the darkness, but I do know that from all of it there comes a light. There comes a light that does not explain the darkness, but ultimately and magnificently dispels it.

We are reminded of this in this Sunday’s readings. Both in the first reading and echoed again in the gospel, we hear of this region in the Northern Kingdom of Israel called the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, a place that had experienced great darkness when it was invaded by the Assyrians and faced oppression, with many people forced into exile. The area would always be seen as full of pagans. It would often be perceived as a dark place. Well, it is from this Northern territory, particularly from Nazareth, where our savior emerges. Out of the darkness, emerges this great and wonderful light.

I am not saying we have to go looking for darkness, but when we find ourselves in the darkness, when we find ourselves figuratively in the Land of Zebulun and the Land of Naphtali, in whatever form that takes, we can be assured that ultimately, in God’s great design, grace will come, a light will come. From Good Friday there will be an Easter Sunday. Let us help each other not explain the darkness but be assured a light will emerge from it.

blog comments powered by Disqus