November 19, 2018
by Sr. Candice Tucci, OSF
Creighton University's College of Nursing
click here for photo and information about the writer

Monday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 497

Revelation 1:1-4; 2:1-5
Psalms 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6
Luke 18:35-43

Praying Ordinary Time Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Wait Until Dark was a film released in 1967, Directed by Terrance Young and starred one of my favorite actresses, Audrey Hepburn. The main character, Susy, was blind as she experiences a home invasion by men seeking out a doll stuffed with heroin. It’s the title of this film, more than the story I am thinking about…Wait Until Dark. Although her blindness was the light that saved her life.

I don’t believe we sit around waiting for the dark be it cosmic, spiritual, emotional or physical experiences. The change of seasons and time from daylight saving to standard time seems to emphasize a cosmic and physical experience of the dark. We head toward Advent and in December we look forward to the Winter Solstice where each day will begin to grow longer with the light. Then there is Christmas, the Light of the World, the Word made flesh, is given. It is a gift. I think, more so, we find ourselves waiting for the LIGHT.

Revelations seems to me to be a memoir of this gift, given in the context of the experience of the early Church with anticipation of Christ’s return.  John, “gives witness to the word of God”. Revelations is filled with symbols and metaphors. The number seven is indicative of completeness, of spiritual or divine perfection. The seven stars represent, at that time, the seven churches in Asia. Has the Church reached perfection? No. Not then, and not now. But it exists within the enduring light of Christ and the message is to “realize how far you have fallen.  Repent, and do the works you did at first.” As Church, repentance, and reconciliation are necessary to return to a church of compassion, humility, service and a loving, trusting, community of faith.  A return to a Gospel life that Jesus lived and taught.

The Gospel today finds us with Jesus approaching Jericho and encounters a blind man. He calls out pleading, repeatedly, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me.” My prayer has been, Jesus, have pity on your people, have mercy, and please save your people. It seems to be a dark period in our Church and society, which needs to be saved from our own blindness, brokenness, woundedness, sinfulness, or, however described, the “dark side” that keeps us from growing to completeness or spiritually whole.  We, too, grapple with our personal experiences of sin and grace. Yet, in the darkness, we see a glimpse of light as we journey through it all. This might be what saves our lives. The Light of Christ is here for me and for everyone. It is there on the “lampstand” for guidance. Perhaps the grace is to open our eyes and be bold enough to trust and make a move toward healing. Bold enough to shout and give voice to mend, restore and rebuild. Too, be persistent when told to be silent. The Light of Christ gives me hope and guidance for healing a broken world and Church.  In that hope, I can praise and give glory to God.  “For the Lord watches over the way of the just, but the way of the wicked vanishes.”

While praying through the Spiritual Exercises on a Thirty-day retreat in Gloucester, MA. Eastern Point Retreat Center, I imagined in my prayer of the 4th Week, I was on a ship I named “Lumen Christi”, Light of Christ. There I met the risen Jesus after I tripped over a bucket of water on deck. He bent over to help me up, wipe my feet and dressed my wounds. I recognized him while he was drying my foot. I was there with him, on board of this ship, the Church, to minister in the spirit of the Gospel. As Christians we are called to be healers and reconcilers, with a mutuality in ministry for and with the people of God and all of creation. Lest we forget…. Don’t wait until dark.  Remain faithful, “Otherwise, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place…” God forbid I or we lose the LIGHT that is shining out into a dark world. Jesus, Son of David have pity on us!

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