Today’s readings: Ephesians 1:15-16, 18-19a and Mark 5:21-24, 35-36, 38-42 [Mass for the school children]
I have a confession to make: a long time ago when I was a little kid, I used to be afraid of the dark. When I would go to bed, I remember making my parents leave the door open just a little bit, so that I could get some of the light from the hallway while I was going to sleep. How many of you were ever afraid of the dark?
The darkness can be a really scary place to be sometimes. In the dark, you can’t see who or what may be there with you, and it makes you feel sometimes like you’re all alone. If you’ve ever been outside lost in the dark, you know how scary that can be.
In today’s Gospel, the daughter of Jairus was in a very deep kind of darkness: the darkness of death. Lots of times we are afraid of death because we don’t know what it is like when we die. Ever since Jesus died and rose, we know that we can go to heaven, but back before that, they didn’t think that would happen at all. So it was scary for Jairus’s daughter to be dead.
Darkness can be a symbol of evil, of very bad stuff. Because darkness is so scary, it reminds us of our sins. Remember that I said when you’re in the dark it can feel like you’re all alone? Well, the darkness of our sins is exactly like that. Our sins make us all alone in the world, and we feel abandoned.
I know some of you have done projects about darkness … would you share them with us?
When we’re in the dark we need some kind of light to show us the way. I found this flashlight finally in all the stuff I packed when I moved here to St. Raphael’s. I’ve had this flashlight forever, and it has helped a lot of times when the lights went out, or when I had to look for something in a dark corner of a room. A flashlight can help us see in the dark. What else can help us see in the dark?
Even in the night sky, which is really dark, there is some light. What kinds of things in the night sky give us light?
This star is one that I keep in my prayer book all the time. Most of the time I forget about it, but it actually fell out of the book just this morning. I think God was trying to tell me something. About four years ago now, one of my classmates from the seminary gave us these stars at a prayer service. These stars were supposed to remind us of the God, so that we would let God light our way.
In the darkness of sin and evil, God is the light that we need. In our Church, we have the Paschal Candle that reminds us of Jesus, the light of the world. We light the Paschal Candle at Easter time, for baptisms and for funerals. Let’s light the Paschal candle now to remind us that Jesus is the light of the world.
When we light a candle or turn on a light, the darkness vanishes and we’re not so scared. When we let God come into our lives, the darkness of evil and sin vanishes, and we can rejoice. I know some of you have done projects about light … would you share them with us?
Jesus is the light of the world. In our first reading today, St. Paul prayed that light would flood the hearts of the Ephesians. When the light of God floods our hearts, all the evil and sin can’t have a place to live. Let’s all try to put the light of God’s love in each other’s hearts today.