Prepare for Sunday Mass: We crave illumination God brings

Each week in OSV Newsweekly, Carl Olson provides a thoughtful, relevant reflection on the Mass readings for Sunday in his "Opening the Word" column. The following is just an excerpt, but you can read the entire column here.

From Carl Olson:

The Bible is filled with numerous references to light. The contrast between darkness and light is highlighted in key passages, beginning with Genesis 1: “God saw how good the light was. God then separated the light from the darkness” (Gn 1:4). The separation of light from the darkness opens the way for the creation of water and land, plants and animals, man and woman. It is the doorway to life, for light is essential for the existence of living things, who rely upon it for heat, energy and sight. Without light, there is no life.

That simple, primordial theme is ingrained in many narratives in the Gospel of John. The fourth Gospel’s prologue (Jn 1:1-18) mentions light nine times, referring to the incarnate word, Jesus Christ, who is creator. It does so in the context of the divine life: “What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

The healing of the man born blind is a sort of creation account, the story of light overcoming the darkness, opening the way for spiritual illumination. There are three forms of darkness portrayed in the dramatic — and sometimes humorous — story: the physical darkness experienced by the blind man, the spiritual darkness exhibited by the Pharisees and the relational darkness of the man’s parents. All of these are the result of the Fall, for physical afflictions, spiritual failings and relational malfunctions all have their roots in the original sin of Adam and Eve, which resulted in man being separated from the light and life of God (cf. Gn 3:23-24).

Read Olson's entire column to prepare for Sunday Mass.

Jennifer Rey is the web editor of Our Sunday Visitor Publishing.