Our light must shine!

“ This is now the best time for our light, our Christian faith, to shine!”

AS I was praying in the rectory chapel last Tuesday morning, the glaring light of the sun came through the room and hit my face, prompting me to look out from the window. Then I saw the morning sun beaming with light and brightening the whole city. It was the first day that the archdiocese suspended the public celebration of the Mass to join the State in preventing the coronavirus epidemic.

I asked myself, what could this beautiful scene mean to us that contrasts the depressing mood of the Catholic churches around the city, and of course, businesses around us? Does it tell us to keep on trusting in God, who, for centuries from the biblical times, has not forgotten to show his light in periods of darkness? Does it call us to believe that a global crisis like the fast-spreading coronavirus epidemic will, in the end, bear fruits of conversion and purification of hearts?

The Gospel this Sunday seems to convey this message. When the disciples asked Jesus the cause of a man’s blindness from birth—whether it was the man’s sins or those of his parents—Jesus responded, “Neither he nor his parents sinned, it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him.”

Jesus does not accept the negative suggestion of assigning blame but offers a positive view of the man’s blindness as the occasion for divine action instead. Hence, to apply the words of Jesus in the present, can we still believe in the power of God to heal our world and bring back normalcy to our lives amid this coronavirus epidemic? Can we see His divine actions in governments, health industry, media, school, religious institutions, and families? Indeed, should we see this crisis as a way of God, telling us to repent and return to him?

The Second Reading this Sunday (Ephesians 5:8-14) urges us to live as children of light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth. As one volunteer of our parish told our staff in a meeting last week, “This is now the best time for our light, our Christian faith, to shine!”

Indeed, this is the opportune time to show our care, kindness, thoughtfulness, and support for one another. It’s the best time for us to show our deep faith in God, who has brought light to the world through His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

Let’s encourage one another to trust in God. Let the Light of Christ heal the world and us of any spiritual blindness. Amen!

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Fr. Rodel “Odey” Balagtas is the pastor of Incarnation Church in Glendale, California.

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