By Deacon John

Saturday April 4,2020 - Saturday in the 5th Week of Lent

1 John 2: 8b-10

    Today is the last Saturday of Lent before Holy Week begins.  I certainly hope you will tune in to the Facebook live stream of our celebration of the Eucharist for Palm Sunday during our usual Mass times today and tomorrow.  

    Our reading today comes from the Office of None or mid afternoon prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours.  And it's so to the point that I need to jump right into it!

    John, our writer, tells us “the darkness is over and the real light begins to shine.”  How very appropriate for us this day. Darkness is vanquished when light, any ray of light is present.  We know this from experience. The old expression “it's always darkest before the dawn” is true. But just as soon as the sun begins to rise, that darkness is over.  Replaced by the light.  

    Today many see our situation as being in the dark.  Not physically, but darkness as in without hope. The news continues to be depressing and there is no sugar coating it.  However, just like the darkness it will someday be banished. Each of us must play our role in this.

    As Chrstians we are the people of Hope.  Hope seems to be lacking by many. God may just be using you as His disciple to be a beacon of hope to a world that is in desperate need of it.  We cannot simply go along with the crowd and complain about all the restrictions we face. Instead in times like ours we must stand for our faith in Jesus as the way, the truth, and life for all people.  In Jesus, the hope of all people is realized. Even in the face of uncertainty Jesus remains our only true hope.  

    John goes on to tell us that “the man who claims to be in light, hating his brother all the while is in darkness even now.”  No it's not necessarily physical darkness but darkness of the soul. 

 Hate does that to you.  Not being a person who forgives, all the while having been forgiven, shows a real misunderstanding of living in God’s light, of living in God’s loving presence.    

    So how did your Lent go this year?  Did you continue with your prayers and fasting and almsgiving or did the Coronavirus cause you to scrap the whole thing?  There is still time. “The man who continues in the light is the one who loves his brother.” Is your life marked by light or darkness?  

    Love of our brothers and sisters means we take seriously the injunctions of Lent to pray for our sisters and brothers, to fast for their intentions and needs, and to give alms for their daily needs.  These are marks of people who have seen the Light of God and prefer the light to being in the dark.  

    That is how we should enter Holy Week, walking in our lives by  the light of God. Walking by God’s light means we will not stumble and fall.

Peace and Blessings

Deacon John

For our prayer intention today, please pray for all teachers and students who are adjusting to new ways of learning.