Thank you for joining me as we Lectio the Liturgy with the Collect for the 13th Sunday of Ordinary Time.
O God, who through the grace of adoption chose us to be children of light, grant, we pray, that we may not be wrapped in the darkness of error but always be seen to stand in the bright light of truth. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.
The prayer tells us that are have been chosen, but let’s not overlook what we have been chosen for and what we have been adopted from.
We were once living in darkness of error:
The verb “wrapped” means envelop or overwhelm. Have you ever toured a cave? Years ago, when our boys were little, we visited a cave. When we got nice and deep in the rock, the guide had everyone shut their flashlights off. We were overwhelmed with darkness. What I never forgot was how my eyes kept searching for light.
Fortunately, there was another kid in our tour who had light-up shoes and it was a welcome relief to have light! Matthew 6:23 tell us that if the light inside you is darkness, how great and terrible is that darkness. And it is, it’s as dark as a cave with no kid with light-up shoes. The darkness of error is living bound by sin, living with wounds, with no light, no hope, and perhaps no knowledge that there is a way out.
But we have been brought into the light of truth:
In the Latin form of this prayer, the word for bright light is splendor. When the Church Fathers wrote of spender, they associated it with the presence of God. The splendor, or light of truth, is Jesus. John 1:9 tell us that Jesus Christ is "the true light that enlightens everyone.”
His light is in us but do we shine? The reason I ask is because I’ve been thinking about darkness. I heard a story about a man who built a new house with many windows. A visiting relative remarked that those windows are “going to let in a whole lot of dark.”
As Christians, when we walk into our work, our community, our parish, do we adjust to the dark or do we bring light? Have you ever lit a candle in a dark room and had the dark overcome the light so that it’s still dark? If we have the light of Christ in us, there is no darkness. Others see the light, and the lights not us, it’s Jesus.
I came across this quote and it’s a hard one:
“Every truly converted soul will be intensely desirous to bring others from the darkness of error into the marvelous light of the righteousness of Jesus Christ.” Review and Herald, July 21, 1896.
It’s hard because it makes us think about our true relationship with God. Do we truly desire to bring others into God’s light? If not, are we truly converted?
In his encyclical, Splendor of Truth, St. John Paul II wrote, “we must not be content merely to warn the faithful about the errors and dangers of certain ethical theories. We must first of all show the inviting splendor of that truth which is Jesus Christ himself.”
Lectio The Liturgy: Read through the Scripture readings for this weekend’s liturgy and note how the words about darkness of error and light of truth stand out. For example, in the reading from Wisdom: death, destruction, He fashioned things for being, wholesome. Praise God! He rescued us from darkness. Now he calls us to be light for the world.
Thank you for praying with me,