Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter

(Acts 12:24-13:5a; John 12:44-50)

Perhaps the greatest mind in the Age of Enlightenment belonged to the English scientist Isaac Newton.  Newton mapped with mathematical accuracy the laws of mechanics and of motion.  He was also a philosopher and theologian.  The poet Alexander Pope lyrically summed up Newton’s achievements, “God said, ‘Let Newton be,’ and all was light.”  In today’s gospel Jesus speaks of himself also as coming into the world as light.

As light Jesus performs two great services.  First, he uncovers human sinfulness so that people may repent and be reconciled.  Some desire privacy so that their sins may not be known.  But Jesus does not allow them to fool themselves by speaking to their consciences.  More importantly, Jesus shows humanity how to love.  Because of him, the highest measure of love will not have anything to do with sex.  It will be counted in the degree of sacrifice one makes for the good of others.

Sometimes we feel reluctant to allow the light of Christ to shine on us.  We may take pleasure in our sinfulness or we may hate others so much that we do not wish reconciliation.  When these conditions invade our being, we should turn to Jesus in prayer.  His light will provide gentle warmth to draw us out of our funk into his grace.