(Col. 1: 12–18)
In his epistle to the Colossians St. Paul tells his fellow Christians that he prays to God for them unceasingly and that he asks that they may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding (Col. 1:9). Then, continuing with his thoughts he says, “giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light” (Col, 1:12).
I would like to focus on the word “light.”
In a few weeks the Feast of Nativity will be upon us and we will sing hymns to the newly-born Lord, the Sun of Righteousness, who by His birth shone forth to the world with the light of wisdom.
It is quite true, our Lord is the only true light that illumines our lives in this valley of darkness. “It is only with the coming of God the Word among us men that the true light shone forth in our darkness of sin and death,” says holy Father Justin Popovic. It is the true light, because no darkness can extinguish it. Christ is the Light of the world, the Light of our life. He reigns by light in the world and in our life. Where He is, there is the kingdom of light and the reign of light. By sending Him into the world among men, God the Father saved us from the power of darkness and moved us into the kingdom of the love of His Son, into the kingdom of light. Only by following the Lord Jesus Christ, people do not wander in the darkness, but have the ‘light of life’ (Jn. 8:12). In Christ the Lord, people become the ‘sons of light,’ light itself, and they live as the ‘sons of light’ (Eph. 5:8-1; 1 Thess. 5:5; Mt. 5:14)
The recently transpired twentieth century, as so many other centuries before it, were proudly and arrogantly proclaimed to be the centuries of “renewal,” “rationalism” and “enlightenment.” In reality, all that occurred was the alienation and separation of man from God. The mind and spiritual sight of men was darkened and distorted to the extent that they became receptive to every kind of evil.
The twenty-first century, which has just begun, does not promise to be any better than the past centuries. Its beginning was marked by a reign of terror and the terror is still continuing.
In an attempt to create a false sense of hope and consolation, and in order to present darkness as light, modern-day man has named the most enlightening moments of medieval history as the “Age of Darkness.”
As I said, today it does not seem as though mankind is changing direction and moving, even slightly, in the direction of God the Creator. Sadly, it is continuing its downfall into the abyss of death. The age we live in is so godless and piety is practically non-existent, that modern man has become very susceptible to all kinds of lies. He is ready to accept a lie for the truth and godlessness for faith. Sects and cults are springing up all over the world and spreading like the plague. Indeed, “when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Lk. 18:8).
The alienation and separation of man from God always takes place in the devil’s darkest secrecy.
We all probably know someone who, on a certain day and hour, goes off to some secret meeting, assembly or séance. If the group he or she belongs to is honest and normal, why the secrecy? Why hide in the darkness, behind thick walls and dark curtains? What can be so secret that man would not reveal it to his fellow men? What, indeed, other than sin? Let us not fool ourselves into thinking that anything good can happen in the darkness.
The Lord says very clearly: “For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come into the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God” (Jn. 3:20 – 21). This explains, with more profoundness, epistle reading – that we have been called to the inheritance of saints, to the light (Col. 1:12)
Our Lord, through Whom everything came into being, and in Whom was all life and the life was in the light of men (Jn. 1:3-4) came down from ineffable light into the darkness of our planet to enlighten us with the light of wisdom, “to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Lk. 1:79)
As Christians we have been called to do everything in such a way that every deed may, at any time, be brought into the light of day, and that we may never be ashamed of our deeds.
Not only that: our works must serve as an example to others, so that they may see God through us, as St. Matthew puts it, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Mt. 5:16). The Lord tells us to always properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy (Rom. 13:13)
The hunters for human souls are at every corner and every step, lying in wait for us and our children, to take us away from our roots and from our God.
“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of god with idols? Therefore come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you” (2 Cor. 6:14-17)
St. Peter calls Christians the sons of light and day, not of night and darkness. “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Pet. 2:9).
As St. Paul says, “let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partaken with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light” (Eph. 5:6-8).
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak these things which are done by them in secret “(Eph. 5:11-12)
Here, on earth, we are soldiers of the Church of Christ, and we are exposed from all sides to the attacks of the powers of darkness, of Hades. We must be vigilant and sober-minded in order to resist these attacks. He who endures to the end will be saved (Mt. 10:22). In the Kingdom of God, in His embrace, there will be no more night for those who endure, for the Lord God will give them light and they shall reign forever and ever (rev. 22:5).