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. (Jn 3:20-21)
I used to be afraid of the dark. Mortally afraid.
When I was younger, I had to have a night light. Then, I “graduated” from a night light to no light — as long as the bedroom door remained open a crack so that the hallway light could come into my room. If someone closed the door or turned off the hallway light, I was a mess.
Eventually, I lost my fear of the dark.
As a matter of fact, I love the dark. So much so that I cannot sleep if light comes into the room. I even have something blocking the face of my alarm clock because the display is too bright and can keep me awake if I am on my side facing the clock. The other LED lights in my room often disturb me as well.
Even though I love the dark, I am only speaking about a physical reality of no light in the room.
The “dark”, on the other hand, still petrifies me.
The dark of which I now speak is the darkness of sin.
When sin enters our lives, it takes away the light of Christ, as a candle that is coming toward the end of its wick and, therefore, its flame. If you have ever watched a candle burning out (a great meditative tool, by the way), you can see and feel the darkness coming in. The candle flickers and dims. It flicks its light out into the surrounding space, trying to swat away the dark; but, you know that the dark is going to win.
Eventually, the wick burns out completely and there is no light left.
At that point in time, one is plunged into darkness.
Imagine sin being the darkness that fights the Light of Christ. The more we allow darkness into our lives, the shorter the wick of faith becomes. It flickers and does all that it can to expose the darkness. However, if we allow ourselves to remain in sin, we will find ourselves consumed by darkness and lose sight of the light.
If that happens, we are lost.
Christ is the Light. We must do all that we can to nurture that light of faith so that it can illumine the path for us in this world of ours that places traps at every step, around every corner, in every circumstance.
Faith Action: Thomas Babington Macaulay once said, “The measure of a man’s real character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out.” Today’s Gospel reminds us that we should live as if everything we do will one day be known to all — because it will. Think twice, today, before doing what you know is wrong.