Adapted by Amanda Hinson from EDGE Into the Dark Retreat
In the last session we talked about the reality of the darkness caused by sin and by fear. But we were not created to live in that darkness, and Jesus provides for us ways to come out of the dark and to see the goodness of His light and the freedom and forgiveness that He offers us.
Please send your light into our world. Shine on us and bring us to your everlasting truth.
EDGE CHALLENGE: Below, this video shows people who are blindfolded being directed by a partner where to walk. Watch the video and try a safe version of this with a family member!
THE LIGHT OF CHRIST
In just two weeks, we will be observing Easter, the day we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus from the grave. The Easter vigil Mass, we would gather in the evening at dark. We light a candle representing the Light of Christ. The priest prays:
May the light of Christ, rising in glory, dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds.
Then what happens? You remember that from this one light, each person's candle is lit, and the church is filled with light.
Just like this one small flame casts out the darkness of the room, the light of Christ has the power to overcome all of the darkness in our lives. Jesus tells us, “I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
LIGHT AND SALVATION
From the very beginning, God had a plan to save us. (CCC 410) God sent His only Son, Jesus, to bring light into the darkness. Jesus’ life was filled with both actions and words that revealed His love, mercy, and justice.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
Throughout His public ministry, Jesus taught about what it looks like to live lives of goodness and called out those who were living lives of sin. He warned people of the consequences of sin, but also showed them His great love and mercy by forgiving and healing them.
Just like the Edge Challenge above, Jesus is guiding us. But Jesus did not come just to be our teacher or spiritual guide — He came to save us once and for all from the consequences of our sins and death. Out of sheer love, He sacrificed Himself for us. By His death on the cross, He took upon Himself the consequences of the sins of every human person. (CCC 402) Then on the third day, He rose from the dead. The Resurrection proves that Jesus was who He said He was. It reveals that He has total power over sin and death. In rising from the dead, He brings to us to new life. (CCC 654) Jesus’ Resurrection opens the gates of heaven for us and brings us all of the graces we need to live in the light of His love and truth. (CCC 655)
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE DARKNESS NOW?
And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.
Jesus took on the consequences of our sins on the cross. He calls us to new life. We have free will and will struggle with sin. Even though Jesus died for our sins, we have the ability to make choices — right or wrong. When we see the light of Christ, we become aware of the darkness we have been living in. Through Jesus, we are both saved from our sins and shown how to live lives of truth, lives of light.
By His death and Resurrection, we have the ability to be forgiven of our sins and freed from death. We are given the graces to overcome sin in our lives and not fall into the temptations that lead us to sin. We experience the forgiveness of our sins and receive the graces to overcome sin in a tangible way through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
I'm so glad that the last night we had together as a group we had the Sacrament of Reconciliation. If you feel that you need this again, don't hesitate to contact Father Omar by emailing him here.
My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In his name, my God, have mercy.
Remember, we were made to walk in the Light of Christ, not blindfolded and stumbling around! So whatever you're going through today, whatever you struggle with, whether it be sin or fear, His Light is already here to shine on you and bring you freedom!
Please comment below, tell us how you're doing!