Study: When in your life have you experienced moments of darkness? Where did you find the light to guide your way?
Pray: Are you struggling with the darkness today? Pray that the Lord will shine radiant light into your life.
Serve: Do you know someone who seems “in the dark” right now? How can you bring the light of Christ to others?
The readings offer several rich themes this week:
- 1st Reading – The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light
- Psalm – “The Lord is my light and my salvation.”
- 2nd Reading – Agree in what you say, and let there be no divisions among you
- Gospel – John the Baptist dies, and Jesus embarks on his public ministry
The 1st reading from the prophet Isaiah, the Psalm, and the Gospel of Matthew all reference light and darkness. The imagery speaks to us on many levels:
- Light is necessary for sight
- Light brings comfort and consolation
- Light is a sign of God’s grace and presence
And yet we know that darkness is also part of our existence. In our modern world we often do all that we can to drive the darkness away, but if you have ever been out in the country (away from all the city lights) you begin to get a sense of what most people were acquainted with through human history.
Things hide in the dark. Crime often occurs in the dark. Fear, anxiety, worry and distress often increase in the darkness. While the darkness is not bad in itself, we often associate it with many challenges and concerns that form the landscape of our our hearts.
Today we hear once again how God’s light casts out all darkness. God’s grace offers us hope, peace, and strength to face the darkness of life with conviction and trust. We know that life is not easy; we face our burdens confident that the Lord will light our way.
Where is the darkness in your life right now? Face it with the light of Jesus Christ! Let the Lord’s light shine in our hearts and lives, offering us the wisdom and direction we need to live our faith today.