Jesus comes down from the Mt. of Transfiguration with Peter, James and John. A desperate father of a son whom he believes is demon possessed meets them. Jesus heals the boy. But Matthew then tells us that Jesus informed his disciples that he would die.
‘22 When they came together in Galilee, he said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. 23 They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life.” And the disciples were filled with grief. “ (Matthew 17: 22-23)
Grief is like a deep darkness descending on us. We know our loved one or we will die some day – next year please! Death is never welcomed. Lent, unlike Advent in December when we look forward to the birth Jesus, often feels dark and somber. We don’t like to think about death. Lent is not a time of happy anticipation but a dark season when we are looking forward to death. Loss is a time of darkness.
As we move into Lent, we ponder the areas in our lives and our world that are clouded by darkness, areas that need the light of Jesus. In Matthew 4:16 Isaiah 9:2 is quoted, “the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” Matthew compares the arrival of Jesus to light arriving in this world to life in the shadow lands.
Let us spend a few minutes giving those dark areas of guilt, hate, regret and pain to God. We could also spend a few minutes praying for our neighbors caught in war, hunger, drought or disease. If that is too dark or painful, then we could focus our prayers on the gift of forgiveness our faith offers and thank God for sending us light in our darkness. Blessings.