May 6 - Light in darkness

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Pondering today’s Mass readings, I remembered also: “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” {Ps 119: 105)

Today’s First Reading:

The word of God continued to spread and grow.

After Barnabas and Saul completed their relief mission, they returned to Jerusalem, taking with them John, who is called Mark. Now there were in the Church at Antioch prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Symeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who was a close friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said,
“Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
Then, completing their fasting and prayer, they laid hands on them and sent them off.

So they, sent forth by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and from there sailed to Cyprus. When they arrived in Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues.
(Acts 12:24—13)

Alleluia Verse:

I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows Me will have the light of life. (Jn 8:12)

Today’s Gospel:

Jesus cried out and said,
“Whoever believes in Me believes not only in me
but also in the One who sent Me,
and whoever sees Me sees the one who sent Me.
I came into the world as light,
so that everyone who believes in Me might not remain in darkness.
And if anyone hears My words and does not observe them,
I do not condemn him,
for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world.
Whoever rejects Me and does not accept My words
has something to judge him: the word that I spoke,
it will condemn him on the last day,
because I did not speak on My own,
but the Father who sent Me commanded Me what to say and speak.
And I know that His commandment is eternal life.
So what I say, I say as the Father told Me.” (Jn 12:44 - 50)

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful, kindle in us the Fire of Your Love. Enable us to open our hearts more and more to the Truth of Jesus which He and the Father sent you to give the Church. Enable us to share God’s Word as you sent out Barnabus and Saul – send out the Church today with the light of Christ.

O Jesus living in Mary be our Light for the world. Enable us to Listen to Your Word that we may carry You to others as Mary carried You to Elizabeth and John and continues to carry you to all the children you have given her. Mary Mother of the Church – there is darkness inside and outside – shine on us, Star of the Sea, Mother of the Word, pray for us.

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Hi @MariaChristi,

It is actually the verse that you did not highlight that struck me the most in the Gospel:

I was stunned when I read and understood this. Jesus will not condemn those who listen to Him, I. E. believes in Him and His teachings, but who cannot obey His Words while in this world.

I can think of so many people, including me, who struggle in following Jesus because of personal weaknesses and circumstances in life, even though they believe in Him, that will be consoled by His Words here.

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Dear Heavenward,

Thanks so much for your reply! I’m happy you were consoled. It is also important to hear “all” of Jesus’ words “in context”. I didn’t highlight the words you chose because they are only part of what Jesus said. We can miss what He said before and after those words. Let’s look at the context:

I came into the world as light,
so that everyone who believes in Me might not remain in darkness.
And if anyone hears My words and does not observe them,
I do not condemn him,
for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world.
Whoever rejects Me and does not accept My words
has something to judge him: the word that I spoke,
it will condemn him on the last day,
because I did not speak on My own,
but the Father who sent Me commanded Me what to say and speak.
And I know that His commandment is eternal life.
So what I say, I say as the Father told Me.”

Jesus says: I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in Me may not remain in darkness. He wants us to hear that some who believe in Him “remain in dakness”. He continues: “And if anyone hears My words and does not observe them, I do not condemn him, for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world.” There is no period after “I do not condemn him,” there is a comma, because much of the world today is in the same darkness as those to whom Jesus spoke. Jesus sees the darkness of unbelief; some heard His words but did not observe them; they did not do the Truth. I put into bold words to complete the context.

Whoever rejects Me and does not accept My words
has something to judge him: the word that I spoke,
it will condemn him on the last day,
because I did not speak on My own,
but the Father who sent Me commanded Me what to say and speak.
And I know that His commandment is eternal life.
So what I say, I say as the Father told Me.”

These are hard words to hear but we need to hear them and ponder them in our hearts. It is important to listen to all Jesus says and does, dear heavenward, and I’m forever grateful to the priest who helped me to Listen carefully. I’m happy you were consoled, because it is very important to believe and trust in Jesus’ Love. We need, however, to learn as Mary our Mother learned when she and Joseph didn’t understand the Words of Jesus after finding Him in the temple. They did not understand but Mary kept all Jesus said and did in her heart. Mary believed and did the Truth standing at the foot of His Cross when others left Him.

We all struggle against self-love, the evil tempter and the world. Yet, God’s grace is sufficient for us. Weakness finds strength in prayer for grace to stand firm; the circumstances in life, the trials God permits are permitted that we may grow in the supernatural gifts of faith , hope and charity, given in Baptism. St. Peter fell but his First Letter encourages us away from fear of condemnation toward growing in holiness. (1 Pet 7-11)

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Dear Cath, Stephie, Swiftdove, Heavenward, blackice, QuietTrad, and Inbonum

Thank you all for your “hearts” – so willing to listen to the Word of God in the Mass Readings today. The more we listen as Mary our Mother listened to all Jesus said and did, the more we begin to know Jesus through Mary.

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MariaChristi, you are preaching to the choir. I do believe, and I ask always Jesus to help my unbelief. Anybody who believes in Him however also knows how hard His teachings are, and thus failings will always happen. Here He is saying that to those who struggle and fail to follow Him time and again in some ways to not worry, He’s not going to condemn them, but He will remain their Light in this dark world and in the end, though we will suffer the consequences of our actions and inactions, all will be well.

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Dear Heavenward,

Thanks for your reply, May the Lord’s Word continue to find a place in you, in me, and in all who continually ask in order to receive His Grace, , seek in order to find Him, and keep knocking until He opens the door (cf Mt 7: 7-11).

Yes, He is always Light in the Darkness!

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