Light and Darkness is a common theme in Scripture, as a means of emphasising the grace and love of God to illuminate our lives. Light and Darkness is a common theme also in many plays, movies, poems and novels. Traffic, railway, tram, aviation lights govern our principal modes of transport in our city. The theme of Light is something we can easily relate to.

Today’s readings touch on the theme of Jesus as the Light in our lives. The readings contrast rich and poor people, powerful and bullied people, darkness and light, division and unity, withdrawal and leadership. Isaiah tells how rich nations are humbled and that there is One to come out of the poor, lowly land of Galilee.

There is a passage in the First Reading from the prophet Isaiah, which is also quoted in today’s Gospel. It reads:

The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those who dwell in the land and shadow of death
a light has dawned.

Matthew’s words were heard like a song of freedom; a reminder of God’s open heart for all. Jesus is a great light. He is relief from the dark that we all walk in at times. People victimised by armed bullies will see their instruments shattered. Servitude, domination and slavery belong to the past. The vision Isaiah and the Gospel speak of is a vision of hope for the oppressed, that they will have freedom from tyranny.

We all should be able to relate our own lives somewhere in the midst of this message. We all have an aspect of ‘darkness’ in our human frailty that needs a light shone on it. We acknowledge this, not in a dispiriting or distressing manner, but rather in facing my reality, whilst always retaining a Hope for what is to come.

Fr Tom

Rev Fr Tom Stevens