In this Sunday’s 2nd reading (Ephesians 5:8-14), St. Paul tells us to live as children of light … to shine the light! We’d like to think Elton John was inspired by St. Paul when he sings those words in his hit song, Philadelphia Freedom, but that might be a stretch.
Here’s the complete reading for the Fourth Sunday of Lent:
Brothers and sisters:
You were once darkness,
but now you are light in the Lord.
Live as children of light,
for light produces every kind of goodness
and righteousness and truth.
Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.
Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness;
rather expose them, for it is shameful even to mention
the things done by them in secret;
but everything exposed by the light becomes visible,
for everything that becomes visible is light.
Therefore, it says:
“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will give you light.”
Sin lives in darkness, St. Paul tells us. Truth lives in the light, so to shine the light is to proclaim the Truth.
Have you ever had someone say to you,
“You have your truth and I have my truth”?
In other words, they suggest there is no such thing as absolute Truth, which is nonsense. An obvious example: either Jesus is the the Son of God … or he’s not. And if he’s not Lord, then he is either a liar or lunatic, as C.S. Lewis famously formulated the proposition.
Dr. Peter Kreeft brought the issue of abortion into the conversation in his reflection on St. Paul’s epistle:
“A famous psychologist (Rollo May) once wisely said that the opposite of love is not usually hate but indifference. You can love and hate the same person at the same time — we always do that to ourselves — but you can’t love and be indifferent to the same person at the same time.
Most moms don’t hate their babies when they abort them, but many, sadly, are indifferent. Kreeft continues …
“Well, just as the opposite of love is indifference, the opposite of honesty and light and truth is not usually outright, deliberate lies but indifference, sleepiness, comfortable vagueness, shadows. “It’s a complex issue,” we say about something as simple as the deliberate murder of our own children — God’s children — before they emerge from the womb. No, it’s not. Not in the light of day, it’s not. Not when you look at the lie that that’s just a group of cells. Or that it suddenly became a person as soon as its umbilical cord was cut. You have to lie to yourself to believe that.”
St. Paul says that whatever the issue, abortion, or some other, don’t live in the dark. Don’t lie to yourself. Rather, shine the light! Or as St. Paul said, “arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”
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