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From Darkness into Marvelous Light

First Reading: Acts 5:17-26

The high priest rose up and all his companions,
that is, the party of the Sadducees,
and, filled with jealousy,
laid hands upon the Apostles and put them in the public jail.
But during the night, the angel of the Lord opened the doors of the prison,
led them out, and said,
“Go and take your place in the temple area,
and tell the people everything about this life.”
When they heard this,
they went to the temple early in the morning and taught.
When the high priest and his companions arrived,
they convened the Sanhedrin,
the full senate of the children of Israel,
and sent to the jail to have them brought in.
But the court officers who went did not find them in the prison,
so they came back and reported,
“We found the jail securely locked
and the guards stationed outside the doors,
but when we opened them, we found no one inside.”
When the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests heard this report,
they were at a loss about them,
as to what this would come to.
Then someone came in and reported to them,
“The men whom you put in prison are in the temple area
and are teaching the people.”
Then the captain and the court officers went and brought them,
but without force,
because they were afraid of being stoned by the people.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. (7a) The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.

Gospel: John 3:16-21

God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.
Whoever believes in him will not be condemned,
but whoever does not believe has already been condemned,
because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God.
And this is the verdict,
that the light came into the world,
but people preferred darkness to light,
because their works were evil.
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light
and does not come toward the light,
so that his works might not be exposed.
But whoever lives the truth comes to the light,
so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.

NAB

april 6th

Can I tell you something? As a little girl, I was REALLY scared of the dark. So much so, if I turned off the light in the basement I would rush upstair at lightening speed because I didn’t want to be in the dark by myself. It made me feel unsafe or like something bad was going to happen to me if I hung around there too long. Thankfully these days I can walk up the stairs with much more ease and confidence. The dark doesn’t have the hold on me it used to.

Today’s Gospel contain perhaps some of the most memorized, well-quoted words of Scripture: “God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but have eternal life.” But as I thought and prayed over the Gospel, I found myself coming back to the words later on in the passage: “The light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil.” Before Christ came, the world was in utter darkness, we were trapped and defined forever by our sin and brokenness. But like a bright, intense flashlight Jesus came into this world and changed it all. Because God came, took on human flesh, and purchased us with His blood, we were given the chance to step out of our darkness and into the light of God.

Even as believers striving to follow Christ in our daily lives, we’re constantly in a spiritual battle against darkness and light. Sometimes the darkness wins, and sometimes the light. But the only way we allow the darkness to win is to stay stuck and not come out. It is like me running up the stairs after turning out the basement light. I didn’t want to stay down there. And now the darkness doesn’t have the hold on me it used to.

What are the dark parts in your life you still need to allow God’s light into?

Fear? Addiction? Gossip? Hardened-heart? Holding onto grudges? Self-righteousness? Bitterness? Resentment? From Darkness? Whatever it is, come out of the dark. Run up those stairs into God’s marvelous light.

And when we do, the darkness doesn’t have the same hold on us.

photo by Jillian Lim

Patty Hubbard is a runner, youth minister ordinaire, and recovering know-it-all. When not fundraising for World Youth Day, she is learning to find grace in all things. You can find out more about her here.

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