5th Week of Lent, Monday, 08-04-19

Daniel 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62 / John 8:12-20 (Year C)

People bring a sinner to Jesus

Jesus forgave the sinner. 

These lines by an unknown poet strike a universal cord: “How I wish that there was some wonderful place Called the Land of Beginning Again, Where all our mistakes and all our headaches ... Could be dropped like a shaggy coat at the door,

And never put on again.” There is such a wonderful place, and it’s located in the heart of Jesus. Jesus wasn’t interested in what a person was, but in what a person might become.

Today’s reading is a classic example of this attitude of Jesus.

What is our attitude toward people: to be forgiving as Jesus was, or to be condemning as the Pharisees were?
“Teach me to feel another’s woe,
To hide the fault I see;
That mercy I to others show,
That mercy show to me.” Alexander Pope, “The Universal Prayer”

It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness. It means that in the face of bad times or hopelessness, it is more worthwhile to do some good, however small, in response than to complain about the situation. But lighting that one single candle may not be as easy as it seems.

As in the case of Daniel in the 1st reading. When the Holy Spirit roused him, he had to make quick decisions. He had to go against the flow, go against what everybody else is thinking of doing and he had to act quickly in order to save Suzanna's life. He had to make his stand and shout "I am innocent of this woman's death!" Seen in that way, to light a single candle in the midst of an overwhelming darkness is certainly not easy.

And Jesus tells us this: I am the light of the world; anyone who follows me will not be walking in the dark; he will have the light of life.

The darkness of this world wants to overwhelm us and make us forget that Jesus has given us the light of life. But when the Holy Spirit rouses us, may we follow His promptings and speak out like Daniel did.

When we follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit, then He will use our words to light candles and scatter the darkness. (SY)