+ “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light!” And where there is light, there is hope! And so, we rejoice in hope on this Laetare Sunday – the mid-point of Lent. This is the compelling summary of our readings today! The images of darkness and light, blindness and sight and hope are quite apparent and eloquent!
Yet the message is so plain and simple: St. Paul tells the Ephesians that “once they were darkness” – because of their inherited affiliation with the origin of the species: Adam, and Eve his wife.
Everyone born into the world from then on would participate in that darkness: and how dark it really was! Only a Person of Light could dispel the darkness that enveloped the world.
And that Person could be none other than Jesus who was both man and God at the same time – who was Light from Light! Jesus became on Calvary the very depth of the darkness of sin – he became sin – so to destroy sin, all sin – and restore the world to the brilliance not only of light, but of color and beauty and truth and goodness and most of all LOVE!
The action of Jesus curing people of their “blindness” during his public ministry was two-ways effective. Yes, curing someone born physically blind is a great thing; but what is even greater is releasing one who is spiritually blind from his enormous load of self-imposed “perspective-handicap.”
“There are none so blind as those who will not see!”: goes the modern proverb! And how true it is!
So very many in Jesus’ own day were deliberately spiritually blind – they could not and would not “see him” as the Messiah they had been waiting for, for millennia. They could not “see” that he was awaited descendant of King David, whose Kingdom would last forever.
They could not “see” that there was a whole and completely different world of faith and supernatural beauty, truth goodness and love that awaited them if they would only stop being so stubborn!
And so, very many, who were right there with him, never did “see” Jesus; and never got to participate in the light of life that Jesus did indeed bring!
And so, to the gentiles the apostles were sent to bring the light of life and the radiant Person of the Crucified and Risen Jesus Christ. May we today pray for any who need to turn to Jesus and “see” him clearly, confess belief in him totally, and begin to perceive everything differently from now on!
Part of that “any” may even be us! It is never too late: “O sleeper, awake and arise from the depths of now self-imposed darkness and have Christ give you light!”
I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the light of life – eternal life!