Commentary on the Gospel of

Bayu Risanto, S.J.-Creighton University's College of Arts and Sciences

Easter Joy in Everyday Life

In the gospel today, we hear strong words, “People preferred darkness to light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.” Without any interpretation, the meaning of these sentences is crystal clear. The doing of evil results from loving and choosing the darkness, while the doing of good deeds leads one to come into the light.

We know pretty well the common evil doings such as dishonesty, robbery, and murder; and we do not do those. Does it mean that we are already in the light? Yes, but perhaps there is part of our life still dwelling in darkness. To me, it is usually being revealed by the good deeds and inspiring words of others. I recently read an article in National Geographic, “Too Good to Waste: How ugly food can help feed the planet”. The article tells the fact that we squander around 2.9 trillion pounds of food globally every year. This much of food is enough to feed nearly 800 million people worldwide suffering from hunger, more than twice over. In developed countries, wasting food generally happens during picking and sorting – only the best appearance goes to markets – and wasting also occurs once the food is purchased by consumers – they are uneaten and discarded at homes.

Pope Francis said, in one of his weekly audiences in 2013, that “Throwing away food is like stealing from the table of those who are poor and hungry.” I agree! Since it is considered stealing, wasting food can be classified as an evil doing, too. I never waste any food once it is on my plate. I eat it. However, as I ponder more, I remember that sometimes I keep leftovers in the fridge; and unfortunately I forget to re-heat and eat them later. After sometime they go bad and I throw them away because I do not want to get sick. Therefore, there is actually part of my daily life which is dwelling in darkness.

Being in the light as the gospel says today does not mean that one lives in the light, basking in the blessedness of such a situation. Instead, being in the light is a commitment. The gospel reminds us that ongoing commitment to good deeds is required to become more deeply involved in the light and to be part of the ongoing revelation of the light: “That it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.” I consciously have chosen to keep the leftovers, but I lack self-discipline and commitment, i.e. to remember and keep track the leftovers that I have stored in the fridge so that I would not forget to consume them before they become spoiled.

I believe there are still some areas in my life and in our life that are still in darkness. It happens not because we choose the darkness, but because we lack commitment to keep the good deeds in every step of our life. Let us pray that God grants us courage, so that we are committed to doing good deeds and being in the light. AMEN.    

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