Monday, August 6, 2018
Then Jesus said to Nicodemus, a teacher of the scriptures and a member of the Sanhedrin, “and this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.” – John 3:19-21
Nicodemus came and spoke to Jesus under the cover of night. I believe he came as an emissary from the Sanhedrin, the ruling council of Jerusalem, either appointed or self-appointed to “check out” what this popular Galilean rabbi’s intent and beliefs. What I find striking in the exchange between Jesus and Nicodemus was how ignorant of and blind to these essential teachings about the Jewish faith expressed in terms of spirituality. To be born once more from above, to have the Spirit come seemingly from nowhere and pass through one’s soul, ideas that Nicodemus simply could NOT understand.
I sense with a bit of frustration, Jesus then speaks to Nicodemus about the scriptural concept of Light and Darkness. I am sensing made all the more tangible considering the circumstance of this meeting in the moonlight. The Darkness is secretive. The Darkness is a place where evil hides lest it be exposed by the Light. The Darkness is filled with fears. The Darkness can also a place within the soul where either unknown or frightening spectres hide.
Christ declares to Nicodemus …”My judgment is simply the work of the Light to expose what is happening in the Darkness. To bring out from the shadows within human hearts and human societies that which is in truth evil yet hides within a cloak of religiosity and national pride. Nicodemus, I speak in the Light of Day but you come to me in the cover of darkness. Go back to the other members of the Sanhedrin and observe what evil will be done in the shadowy places.”
So much of our Christian witness is about bringing lanterns into the Darkness and inviting those hiding in the Darkness to come out into the Light.
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz