In today’s Gospel, Jesus describes his earthly mission as a struggle between light and darkness. In John, darkness is the world’s sinful state and unbelief in God; while light is the gift of salvation, knowing and believing that God is with us.
Believing in Jesus means coming to the light, the light of God’s new creation and not believing means remaining in the darkness. The darkness (and those who embrace it) must be condemned because evil is destroying and defacing the present world, and preventing people from coming forward into God’s new world (‘eternal life’).
Jesus says, “God so loved the world” that he sent his only Son to bring light into the darkness. But the world “preferred darkness to light”, passing judgment on itself.
Our first reading from Acts provides a concrete example of the world’s refusal of the light. The high priest and all of his supporters, the same coalition that acted against Jesus, are assembled again to take action against Jesus’ followers. The apostles are arrested and thrown into the public jail, only to be released and recommissioned to preach the whole message of the Good News by an angel of the Lord, for the darkness will not overcome the light.
How alert are we to the messengers of God in our own lives that come to overthrow our darkness and lead us back into the light? In this Easter time, can we believe and allow ourselves to be bathed in God’s light and love?