Diocese of Toledo, Ohio

Browsing From the Pastor

Feb. 4th/5th Bulletin Article

Feb. 5, 2023

From the Pastor:                           

The Gospel acclamation for this Sunday is as follows: “I am the light of the world, says the Lord, whoever follows me will have the light of life.” These words of Jesus are meant for us today just as much as they were for His first disciples. However, in our secularized world, we may not understand the significance of what Jesus offers to anyone who follows Him. The image that we are given is the opposing extremes of light and darkness.

Darkness is the absence of light. The greater the absence, the greater the darkness. In darkness, we are unable to see, and therefore unable to function. In darkness, we cannot defend ourselves from danger. As a result, darkness often brings a sense of anxiety and fear to people. Even more obvious, our existence is dependent on light. Without light, we would cease to exist.

God is the light. God gives us the power to walk in the freedom and beauty of light instead of the danger of darkness. Light enables us to overcome darkness. We know this physically, but do we know this spiritually? Examining the deeper causes of the greatest dangers the world is facing reveals needing to find solutions that are more spiritual than physical. Hunger, neglect, violence, war, and even certain diseases are some examples. God shines His light into the dark corners of our lives for the purpose of overcoming these through our repentance and conversion.

St. Paul’s conversion began with his encounter with light. While on his way to persecuting more Christians, St. Paul says, “I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining all around me.” While being overcome with light, Jesus speaks to him, bringing about his conversion. Then Jesus appoints him to do the same for others: “to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light, and from the dominion of Satan to God, in order that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me” (Acts 26:18).

The darkness that Pope Francis recently called humanity to turn from are the sins of not being charitable and chaste. In a recent series of statements, Pope Francis said homosexual acts are sinful but should not be criminal. His point is that just as we don’t imprison people for the sins of pornography or fornication, neither should we imprison people for the sin of homosexual activity. However, true charity compels us to help those with sinful addictions or lifestyles, “to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light”, just as St. Paul did.

Pope Francis’ point is that we need to love the sinner but hate the sin. The simplicity and clarity of this statement is much needed for our time. It makes clear how we are to be charitable to others and still faithful to God. The commandments and teachings of God are the light that shines through the darkness of this world. Like St. Paul, they lead us “from darkness to life, and the dominion of Satan to God.”


In His peace,

Fr. Miller 


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