The Second reading for last Sunday’s Mass, the 33rd Sunday of the Year, continues to offer food for the formation of the Christian spirit, and the nourishment of the Christian life.
You will not be expecting us to write anything to you, brothers, about ‘times and seasons’, since you know very well that the Day of the Lord is going to come like a thief in the night. It is when people are saying, ‘How quiet and peaceful it is’ that the worst suddenly happens, as suddenly as labour pains come on a pregnant woman; and there will be no way for anybody to evade it.
But it is not as if you live in the dark, my brothers, for that Day to overtake you like a thief. No, you are all sons of light and sons of the day: we do not belong to the night or to darkness, so we should not go on sleeping, as everyone else does, but stay wide awake and sober.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-6
The shocking news of the killings in Jerusalem yesterday, and the shocking news that preceded it from so many other places in the world of suffering and hatred and cruelty is surely a great darkness. It can so easily overwhelm us and make us too into children of the night and darkness, lashing out at the ‘enemy’ and failing to recognise in them the features of a brother or sister, a child of God.
But by our calling, and by our baptism, we are children of the light, children of the new day, and of the new creation. Reborn with Christ on the first day, that is also the eighth day, filled with newness and hope, we are to be ministers of his peace to others.
How challenging is that given our own weaknesses and prejudices, and the challenges that the darkness sets before us again and again.
- Today is given us for life. What darkness in you do you ask the Lord to drive away with his gentle but powerful light?
- What darkness in your home or place of work do you need to carry his light to, for the sake of others?
Photograph of fresco representing the Holy Spirit, Basilica of St Francis, Assisi. (c) 2014, Allen Morris