The most important thing to have in the midst of great darkness is a source of light. For one seeking to make their way through difficult terrain, the ability to understand what are the potential hazards and what can assist the journey is vital to moving towards the goal that one seeks. If a man finds himself without light in the midst of great darkness, we say rightfully that he is lost. He is not able to recognize what he has nor the path which he wishes to take.
We live in dark times and many are lost. It seems as though there are few lights and few sources of wisdom. We live in a time of great uncertainty and this uncertainty will most likely remain for the foreseeable future.
The past year has seen many foundations of our society challenged to the core. In such circumstances, we have seen great acts of virtue and heroism and sadly the corruption of human hearts as it manifests itself in our communities and our world. This year has revealed the best of us and the worse, and in a certain sense it has probably revealed to each one of us the best of ourselves and the worse.
Some might feel the temptation to lament times such as these, to immerse themselves in defeat and to fail to understand that even the midst of great darkness, the light of Christ always is victorious.
Some might wish me to be forthright and direct in supporting one political position or another. Some say that in this great conflict there is good and there is evil, and as a shepherd I should protect my flock from evil and direct them towards the good.
This is true. There is indeed a war between good and evil, but in fact there has always been a war between good and evil and that war is primarily fought within the human heart. Within you is great good and great evil. In times such as these, we can fail to understand that we possess within us great evil and that every human heart is in need of conversion.
One of the saddest spiritual ailments of our time is that many people have great fear and anxiety about many things in the world, but hardly a single person pauses to consider the damnation of their immortal soul. People are willing to commit great evil for their political cause without a single thought to the fact that they will stand before the judgment seat of God and be held accountable for their actions.
I do not wish to tell you how to engage in the civil life of our country, but I must teach you to understand the light which must guide your actions.
He who lies and cheats and steals, no matter what their political cause puts his immortal soul in danger of eternal damnation. He who kills the innocent, who promotes lies and deceptions, who slanders, who worships false gods.. such a man is called to repent and change his ways lest he spend his eternity among the damned.
There is indeed a war between good and evil, and good will triumph at the final judgment. And in the midst of so much darkness, there is a light.
At this very hour, God is true to his promises. He teaches in Romans 8:28 “that all things work to the good for those who believe.” God never loses. Even should all of us die painful deaths as martyrs, God will have designed this for his glory and for ours. Even if we should lose everything we cherish in this world and watch our families die in shame and poverty, such will have been ordained for a higher purpose that we will not discover in this world. God never loses.
As our Lord speaks to us in Job 1:21, “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
blessed be the name of the LORD!”
In this dark hour, see the light and have no fear. Or rather “do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna…” as our Lord says in Matthew 10:28.
Likewise, hear our Lord speak to you this day, “But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness,* and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil (Matthew 6:33-34).”
Brothers and sisters, take confidence in the Lord. He has brought you to this moment, and he will give you his grace to aid in your salvation. Put your trust in the Lord and not in the world. Live by his law and seek his righteousness.
We live in great darkness and there is only one light that can lead you through it.
That light is Jesus Christ.