Fourth Sunday of Lent, Year B
2 Chr 36:14-16, 19-23: Eph 2:4-10: Jn 3:14-21
Walk in the Light of God
The presentation of a Lighted candle is an essential part of the baptismal rite and other liturgical ceremonies in the Church. This ceremony of the light is an invitation to the newly baptized alongside their parents and godparents to walk in the light of God all the days of their life. The lyrics of a common song which I usually chant as I invite parents and God parents to light their candles is: “The spirit lives to set us free, walk in the light, he died on the cross on Calvary, walk in the light; to save the lost like you and me, walk in the light…and walk in the light of God.
In the first chapter of his first letter, John presents God as light, and in Him there is no darkness (1Jn 1:5-10). Walking in the light is the opposite of walking in darkness. It means seeing reality for what it is and being controlled by desires that accord with God’s light. If God is light and in him there is no darkness at all, then he is the bright pathway to the fulfillment of all our deepest longings and desires. He is the deliverer from all dark dangers and obstacles to joy.
By calling all his disciples friends and showing us the way to the Father, Jesus means that we should walk in the light of God by a way of life that is free from all works of darkness. “I am the light of the world, anyone who follows me will not be walking in darkness, but he will have the light of life”(Jn 8:12).
Despite this invitation to walk in the light of God, many still prefer darkness to light. No doubt, Christ speaks clearly in the gospel that he didn’t come to condemn the world but to save us, yet he insists: “And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.”
If we say we have fellowship with God, yet we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth. We are living in darkness when we hate one another or some people in our communities and in our families. He who hates his brother or sister is in the darkness and he who loves his brother or sister abides in the light (1Jn 2:8-11). Walking in the light means being a loving person and walking in the darkness means being a person of hate.
As we have it in the first reading, the princes, priests and people of Judah added infidelity on infidelity. Similarly, such acts of infidelity are perpetuated in our day and age: lie-telling, unfaithfulness, cheating are all works of darkness. Darkness has more to do with evil and crime than with the hour of the day. How often do we feel happy when we emerge from vicious activities without being caught, yet we fail to realize that no one can play hide and seek with God; for the eyes of the Lord are ten thousand times brighter than the sun as we have it in Sirach 23:18-19: “the man who dishonors his marriage bed says to himself, who can see me? Darkness surrounds me, walls hide me…he doesn’t realize that the eyes of the Lord, ten thousand times brighter than the sun, observe every step taken and see into hidden corners. We can escape the clutches of security cameras and human eyes but we can’t escape the notice of God.
As we continue our Lenten journey and our sojourn here below in general, let us walk in the light of God. This light gives true freedom, hope and joy. Life for us will always be happier and peaceful if we live without skeletons in our cupboards. Let us keep in mind that “For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open” (Lk 8:17).