As I write these thought, the past week (5-10 March) was far too filled with 3 funerals:  Fr Jim Havens, Margaret Roh, and Bill Healy, with another death (Tommy Wilson, whose funeral will be this coming Thursday).  As this past weekend was also the transition to CDT, it leads me to think about the promises of the Gospel that are about light, and about saving.

          Last Sunday, we heard in the Gospel that the judgment on the world was that the Light came, but people preferred darkness, to hide their evil works.  I know what I prefer, and it isn’t darkness!  I’m sure you all agree with me…  I want to be brought into the Light, into the presence of Jesus Christ my Savior.  On the other hand, when the clock alarm went off (1 hour too early, my body told me!), I certainly did want to prefer darkness (and remaining in bed) to the light that hadn’t yet arrived.  The lost hour hurt me—ironically, more so than a seven-hour jet-lag going to Italy.  But perhaps there is a metaphor here for purgatory??

          Heaven and hell are often portrayed as places of light or darkness.  C.S. Lewis described hell as a railway station, always in twilight turning to night, with ugly neon shop lights (The Great Divorce).  But he also described heaven as a bright day in early summer (The Last Battle).  Which would we want to choose?

          The seer of Revelation also had a vision (which is celebrated in Night Prayer from the “Liturgy of  the Hours” every Sunday):  “Night will be no more, nor will they need light from lamps or the sun, for the LORD God shall give them light, and they shall reign forever” (Revelation 22:4-5).  Night shall be no more.  Think of the fact that when Judas left to betray the Lord, “…it was night” (John 13:30).  Think of Jesus’ remark when arrested:  “…but this is your hour, the time of the power of darkness” (Luke 22:53).  Don’t we wish the power of darkness to be dispelled in a final and absolute way?  Don’t we?

          Last Sunday’s 2nd reading (from Cycle A) was Ephesians 5:8-14, which proclaimed:  “Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”  How fitting for the man born blind (Cycle A’s Gospel from John 9), and how fitting for our desires!  Don’t we all want to live as children of the light?

          What was the very first thing God created?  “Let there be light!”  And what does the Prologue of the Fourth Gospel tell us?  “The light (of the Word) shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5). 

          I want to be embraced by the Eternal Light.  I want to be in the presence of the everlasting brightness of the Word of God.  I want to be welcomed to Mount Zion, the City of the Living God.  It’s why we pray in the funeral liturgy Lux aeterna, luceat eis, Domine, et  lux perpetua luceat eis..  [“May eternal light shine on them, O Lord, and perpetual light shine upon them…”].  Lord, grant us all the joy of this light!  May we all enjoy the promise of refreshment, light, and peace—forever, with the Lord our Savior.