22 April, 2020

For God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

~ John 3:16 ~

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?


Loving Father, thank you for sending your Holy Spirit to us, and for gifting each of us with a Guardian Angel. May they always guide our path and open the way so that we might proclaim our faith, and our belief, in You. Amen.


Catholic Parliamentary

Liaison Office

Jesuit Institute
South Africa

Reflection prepared by

Fr Matthew Charlesworth SJ

Fr Matthew Charlesworth SJ entered the Society of Jesus in 2005 and underwent the usual course of studies in his formation, which took him to such varied places as Canada, France, Ireland, Kenya, Spain, Tanzania, the United Kingdom, the United States, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. Whilst working at the Institute, Matthew managed the background technical aspects of much of the Institute's work and was involved in the Spirituality work, completing the Advanced Spiritual Directors Training Course and the Spiritual Exercises Training run by the Institute. He is a member of Spiritual Directors International and was also a part-time lecturer in Sacred Scripture at St Augustine College of South Africa. He is currently the Director of Communications for the Jesuits in Southern Africa, based in Lusaka, Zambia.

m.charlesworth@jesuitinstitute.org.za @mcharlesworth
See more from Matthew Charlesworth SJ

Click to subscribe to: