Saturday, January 25, 2014

Third Sunday, Ordinary Time "Anguish has taken wing, dispelled is darkness": Repentance invites the Light which shines to break the gloom and shadow of death

"Anguish has taken wing, dispelled is darkness: for there is no gloom where but now there was distress." Isaiah 8

The anguish and gloom which afflict the human person are spiritual realities which oppress the intellect and will and which no earthly power can vanquish. There are various sources of darkness which the person experiences but the most needless of all, and the most preventable, is the alienation from self, from God and others brought by sin, the evil which man and woman bring upon themselves by their own free choices.  This "walking in darkness" does not end here, however, it ushers in a gloom which is the greatest threat for it is one which can go on forever.

The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom
a light has shone.
You have brought them abundant joy
and great rejoicing,
as they rejoice before you as at the harvest,
as people make merry when dividing spoils. Isaiah 8

Now, in Christ, God has given to man and woman an answer left by the question that is Adam and Eve. Now, by a repentance which is a cooperation with God's gift, man and woman can break free from the oppression and gloom, the reality of evil, which is every sin. This is what is meant by the dire expression "the shadow of death" for it is sin which truly invites death for, as a result of it, man and woman loose the life of justice and love in God which can forever separate them from His light and life which alone can last beyond what we see and know here and now. The glorious light of the sun itself will dim one day forever but brilliant light of God which shines forth in Christ the Savior is eternal.

Jesus Christ indicates the way to go in His initial proclamation of His Kingdom:

"Jesus began to preach and say, 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.' ” Matthew 4

In Christ we now have access to God when we say that we are sorry for sin and hear his response, "Ego te absolvo." For us the power of the Cross is poured forth through the Resurrection life of the Lord in the sacramental life. This is the reason why we always seek forgiveness for the most serious sins, those which are mortal, in Confession which is the opportunity to express sincere sorrow to the One who loves us so much as to give us His only Son on the Cross.

The absolution of Christ in confession restores true light because it gives again God's eternal life of grace.

Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever. Amen.

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