April 26, 2017
Jn 3: 16-21
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Darkness and Light
Images of lightness and darkness are used throughout scripture. Darkness is not always bad. In the story of creation, God does not annihilate darkness. Rather, God adds light. Darkness is part of human experience. The question to me is, how shall we use the light?
Well, “to see,” of course. But what does that mean?
Years ago, I heard the story of a blind person who was suddenly “sighted” through surgery. That person’s reaction was to say: “I now know some things that I didn’t know before, but I am not sure why.”
One of my favorite things to do is to take photos of subtle light illuminating familiar things. The light reveals the wondrous beauty of God’s creation. One of my least favorite things is the harsh illumination of noon sun or “flash.” But this too reveals God’s creation.
The story of the Resurrection is the story of darkness and light, with all of the terrible beauty of both.
—Bren Ortega Murphy, PhD is a faculty member in Communications Studies at Loyola University Chicago. She holds a joint appointment in Loyola’s Women’s Studies program.
Life-giving God, source of all light,
lead us to the hope and possibility
of your Easter gifts. Amen.
—the Jesuit prayer team
THE POPE'S PRAYERS
Daily ExamenThe examen is a prayer popularized by St. Ignatius Loyola that helps us to recognize the ways that God is present and active in our daily lives.
- Stillness: Quiet yourself. Close your eyes and be still. Remember that in this moment you are in God’s presence and that God is now loving you. Take time to let yourself be looked at by the Lord.
- Gratitude: Take a few moments to recall one or two things from today for which you are especially grateful. Give thanks to God for these gifts and take time to savor them.
- Review: Review the events of the past day from start to finish, as if you were watching a movie. Notice the ways that God has been present today. Pay attention to your emotions and stirrings within your heart.
- Sorrow: As you have reflected upon your day, you may have noticed a moment from the day in which you have fallen short. Bring this experience to prayer and ask for God’s healing and forgiveness.
- Looking Forward: Look ahead to the next day and ask for God’s help and grace as you move forward with activities, commitments, and interactions with others. When you are ready, conclude your examen with the Our Father.
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