Father Steven Reilly, LC
For God so
loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life. For God did not
send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.
Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but
whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because
he has not believed in the name of the only
Son of God. And this is the verdict, that
the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness
to light, because their works were evil. For everyone
who does wicked things hates the light and does
not come toward the light, so that his works might
not be exposed. But whoever lives the truth comes
to the light, so that his works may be
clearly seen as done in God.
Introductory Prayer: Lord,
you know my needs better than I do. I
turn to your Spirit to teach me what to ask
for in this prayer. I want to fulfill your
holy will over my life. I love you, Lord, and
I place all my hope in you.
Lord, increase my faith in the power of the Resurrection.
God Loves the World: The tsunami that struck the
Indian Ocean countries in 2004 and the earthquake in Haiti
in 2010 provoked many people to question God’s goodness.
How could he, if he is good, have permitted
such a catastrophe? But what does our faith teach us?
That God loves the world, so much that he
sent his only Son. Evil in the world is real
and present, and such massive casualties show that nature
herself cooperates with the power of death. But that
power is being broken. The first decisive blow to
the chain that binds the world was Christ’s death on
the cross. The execution of Our Lord was the
greatest act of moral evil history can ever see, but
through God’s power, it has become the source of
eternal life for us all, as we now celebrate
in this Easter season. Through the power of the Resurrection,
we are journeying towards the ultimate defeat of suffering
2. Sin Is the Worst Evil: The physical
evil brought by a natural disaster is terrible. But sin
is worse. This Gospel reading reminds us of souls
who consciously choose evil. The irony is that people
make this choice pursuing some form of self-fulfillment. Instead of
fulfillment, they encounter the emptiness of a life that
carries with it the burden of self-imposed condemnation. They
live in darkness as opposed to the light. If
we knew someone who freely chose to live in a
darkened cave, we would think that person nothing short
of insane. But where are the dark patches in
our own lives?
3. Christ Leads Us Towards the Light: Christ’s
body had been physically destroyed through the evil decisions
and cruelty of men. When the risen Lord appeared
to the apostles in the Upper Room, his new
life of glory pointed in a new direction, and they
were flooded with the vision of where we are
heading. Through our life in the Church, we are heading
to a renewal of all things in Christ, in
which death will be no more, and where every
tear will be wiped away. The physical evil of natural
disasters and the moral evil of sin may try
to challenge our faith. But they are the last gasps
of a defeated enemy. Let us take heart! We
are headed to the light, where Christ is King
and Lord of all.
Conversation with Christ: Lord, I
long to live in the light. Banish from my
soul all darkness of sin or disbelief. At times I
struggle to see the pattern of your divine plan.
But through my faith, I know that you are love
and mercy and you are guiding us towards the
light that will never end.
Resolution:I will renew my
spiritual vision of the world by frequently lifting my
mind up to God during the day.