Of light and salvation

6 Feb

El Capitan

I love you, Lord, my strength,

Lord, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer,

My God, my rock of refuge,

my shield, my saving horn,

my stronghold (Ps 18:2b-3).

 He has raised up a horn for our salvation …salvation from our enemies and from the hands of all who hate us (Lk 1:69a, 71).

That’s good news!

And if ever we needed such good news, it is now.

Let’s moan together for a bit:

  • Israel is in danger from Iran, as are we here in the U.S. The entire Middle East is in turmoil.
  • Economic disaster looms over much of the free world.
  • People seeking freedom are mowed down en masse by their dictatorial oppressors.
  • Unemployment in our nation still looms.
  • Traditional values are ignored – modesty in dress, fidelity in marriage and friendships, working for a living, concern for one’s neighbors, faith in God at the center of private and social life.

Okay, enough!

If we stay there we’re going nowhere.

The Lord himself promises: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Cf Mt 7:7-11).

We are bigger than our problems.

Look way back.

The Lord’s promise of salvation echoes from Moses: God has set before us “life and prosperity, death and doom.” If we are to have life and peace, we are to love and obey God, walk in his ways, and keep his commandments (Cf, Deut 30:15-20).

What are we seeking? How do we define salvation? Is it peace of mind and peace in the world or a good job? All good. However, are we seeking the gift instead of the giver?

John the Silent, so named for his love for silence and contemplation, lived in the fifth and sixth centuries. He offers this:

Great is this salvation, my brethren, which fears neither sickness, nor lethargy and disregards pain. … Even though the dark shadows of evil crowd about, “the Lord is my light.” … Though the blindness of concupiscence assails us, again we say, “the Lord is my light.” For he is our strength; he gives himself to us and we give ourselves to him. Hasten to the physician while you can, or you may not be able to find him when you want him.  (See Liturgy of the Hours, Book III, pgs 130-131)

Recall the story of the blind beggar near Jericho. He was told Jesus was passing by and he called out insistently to the Lord. “Jesus asked him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’  He replied, ‘Lord, please let me see.’  Jesus told him, ‘Have your sight. Your faith has saved you’” (Lk 18:41-43).

The grace of “seeing” God comes with humility and surrender. Just think about this instruction from the Lord:

“Come to me all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light” (Mt 11:28-30).


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