A Catholic Monthly Magazine

Out of Darkness … into Light

Fr Kevin Head SM

Out of darkness God has called us,
Claimed by Christ as God’s own people.
Holy nation, royal priesthood,
Walking in God’s marvellous light.
-- Refrain from the hymn Out of Darkness by Christopher Walker

The images on the cover and on page 2 of this issue of the Messenger are evocative of the account of Easter morning in St John’s Gospel (20:1). It starts very early in the morning of the first day of the week when it is “still dark”. But the Easter story has its finest expression in the new life in Christ, when, as John tells us, “the night is over and the real light is already shining” (1 John 2:8). The Risen Christ at Easter calls us out of the tomb of sin’s darkness, with him, into the radiant light of the Resurrection.

In Seasons of the Word, Denis McBride CSsR tells the story of an elderly rabbi who gathered his students together very early in the morning while it was still dark. He told them to pay attention because he had a very important question to ask them. The question was this: how could they tell when night had ended and a new day was dawning?

...in the light of Easter ... we see the Lord

One student answered, “Could it be when you see an animal and can tell whether it is a sheep or a dog?” “No”, the rabbi answered. Another student said, “Could it be when you look at a tree in the distance and can tell whether it is a fig tree or a peach tree?” “No”. After a few more guesses the students demanded, “Well, then, what is it?”

“It is when you look on the face of any woman or man and see that she is your sister and he is your brother.

"Because if you cannot do this then no matter what time it is, it is still night”.

It is in the light of Easter that we see the Lord and recognise one another as sisters and brothers in him.

Darkness cannot overpower this Paschal light. Some years ago, at Easter time, Pope Francis said that “today it is important to shed the light of the Risen Lord upon our problems, and, in a certain sense, to ‘evangelise’ them. … Let us not allow darkness and fear to distract us and control us; we must cry out to them: ‘the Lord is not here, but has risen!’ (Luke 24:6). He is our greatest joy; he is always at our side and will never let us down”.

In Easter faith, we can answer the question of the old rabbi -- we can tell that the night is gone, and the new day is at hand, when we look on the face of our sister and brother and see something astonishing. We catch sight of the risen Lord.

May your Easter be filled with joy and light.   

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