Light in the Midst of Darkness

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Readings for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

Saint Vincent, Deacon and Martyr – Optional Memorial

“Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death light has arisen.” Matthew 4:15-16

This passage from Matthew’s Gospel is quoted from Isaiah the Prophet at the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. After quoting Isaiah, Jesus goes forth saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

This prophecy from Isaiah is clearly fulfilled in Jesus’ coming. Jesus is the “great light” of which Isaiah speaks. Therefore, Isaiah is prophesying this particular historical moment when Jesus appears in our world preaching His divine Word.

But Isaiah’s words should not only speak to us about this one-time historical event of the coming of Christ and His public ministry, it should also reveal to us the fact that Jesus is the “great light” who continues to shine in whatever darkness we encounter.

Sit with that image. Imagine complete darkness covering the entire land. Perhaps imagine being out in the wilderness on a very cloudy night with the stars and moon completely covered. Imagine, then, the clouds parting as the Sun immediately begins to rise. Slowly the darkness is cast aside as the rising sun sheds light across the entire land.

This is not only an image of what happened long ago when Jesus came and began His ministry, it also happens every time we sincerely listen to the Word of God and allow His Word to penetrate our minds and hearts. Jesus’ words must fill us with Himself for He is the Great Light of Truth.

Reflect, today, upon the area of your life that seems to be covered with darkness. What is it that leaves you feeling hurt, angry or confused? What is it that burdens your heart more than anything else? It is this area of your life, more than any, that Jesus desires to enter and to shed the rays of His glory upon.

Lord, come to me and enter the darkness of my mind and heart. Come and cast aside the sorrow and pain that I feel this day. Bring clarity to my confusion and replace it with the bright knowledge of Your loving presence. Jesus, I trust in You.

See also: Daily Reflection on Divine Mercy