Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter
(Acts 8:1b-8; John 6:35-40)
At the Last Supper in John’s gospel Judas slips away just before the great discourse of Jesus. The evangelist makes a pithy remark after reporting Judas’ departure. He says, “And it was night” (13:30). Night, the time of darkness, indicates evil as today’s gospel relates.
The passage raises eyebrows for its stark presentation of good and evil, of hope and despair. In an act of mercy God sends his only Son into the world to save it. He is the light of the world because he teaches the way to eternal life. He delivers his most eloquent lesson from the cross. There he shows that to live eternally one must die to her or himself. Many reject this truth. In the gospel’s words, they “prefer(ed) darkness to light.” They would rather live for themselves than serve others. Think of the man so proud that he ceaselessly talks about himself. Or consider the women so spiteful that she seldom has a kind word for anyone.
We have to choose between good and evil, light and darkness. By choosing goodness Christ becomes our companion. He usually comes to us in the people or in the sacraments of the Church. Preferring evil, we also find company with people of similar interests. But in the end they will care for us no more than the extent that we serve their purposes.