Thoughts from Father Shields – January 26th

light points

His love will carry us through even
the most encompassing darkness.

(Isaiah 8:23-9:3; I. Cor 1:10-13-17; Matthew 4:12-23)

How often, after reading the headlines of our newspapers, listening to the day’s news events on TV or finishing a conversation with a friend, our thoughts and feelings are layered over in sadness and darkness due to the tragic details just read or heard. So often we can be overwhelmed…and almost paralyzed…by the difficulties people are subjected to on this journey of ours. Trafficking in human beings, violent crimes, prejudice and racism (in so many disguised forms), hatred instead of love, war instead of peace, misunderstandings that solidify into walls of separation…this list could go on and on. But thankfully there is other ”news.” That is the “good news” in today’s readings.

The theme of “darkness” being dispelled by the “light” is present in both Isaiah and Matthew. It is a message that allows us to “take heart” even when our hearts are flooded with memories of disappointments, violence, apparent betrayals, meanness, sickness, and even death. Christ is reminding the early Christian community that the message…and guarantee…of the Father’s love will carry us through even the most encompassing darkness. What a liberating message!

The smile on the child’s face who is scooped up in a parent’s loving arms out of harm’s way (without the child realizing the danger), the pride in a parent or teacher’s eyes in seeing their child/student overcome obstacles and excel, the tears on the cheek of someone who has just been forgiven by another whom they have wounded, the profound sigh of the frightened one embraced by someone who believes in them, the acts of LOVE exchanged by people who truly see and sense the value of giving rather than taking…and for us Catholics especially, the Christ of the Gospels who CONSTANTLY reminds us of how loved we are! Yes, there is “light” that can dispel the “darkness”…and we name that reality/persons Jesus Christ! May you and I, followers of Jesus Christ, be light for those that we meet this week!

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