Providing the Word of God.

March 30, 2017

world in a light bulb

The Light That Never Grows Dark

Reading 1 – Ex 32:7-14

The LORD said to Moses,
“Go down at once to your people
whom you brought out of the land of Egypt,
for they have become depraved.
They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them,
making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it,
sacrificing to it and crying out,
‘This is your God, O Israel,
who brought you out of the land of Egypt!'”
The LORD said to Moses,
“I see how stiff-necked this people is.
Let me alone, then,
that my wrath may blaze up against them to consume them.
Then I will make of you a great nation.”

But Moses implored the LORD, his God, saying,
“Why, O LORD, should your wrath blaze up against your own people,
whom you brought out of the land of Egypt
with such great power and with so strong a hand?
Why should the Egyptians say,
‘With evil intent he brought them out,
that he might kill them in the mountains
and exterminate them from the face of the earth’?
Let your blazing wrath die down;
relent in punishing your people.
Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel,
and how you swore to them by your own self, saying,
‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky;
and all this land that I promised,
I will give your descendants as their perpetual heritage.'”
So the LORD relented in the punishment
he had threatened to inflict on his people.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 106:19-20, 21-22, 23

R. (4a) Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
Our fathers made a calf in Horeb
and adored a molten image;
They exchanged their glory
for the image of a grass-eating bullock.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
They forgot the God who had saved them,
who had done great deeds in Egypt,
Wondrous deeds in the land of Ham,
terrible things at the Red Sea.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
Then he spoke of exterminating them,
but Moses, his chosen one,
Withstood him in the breach
to turn back his destructive wrath.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.

Verse Before the Gospel – Jn 3:16

God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.

Gospel – Jn 5:31-47

Jesus said to the Jews:
“If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is not true.
But there is another who testifies on my behalf,
and I know that the testimony he gives on my behalf is true.
You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth.
I do not accept human testimony,
but I say this so that you may be saved.
He was a burning and shining lamp,
and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light.
But I have testimony greater than John’s.
The works that the Father gave me to accomplish,
these works that I perform testify on my behalf
that the Father has sent me.
Moreover, the Father who sent me has testified on my behalf.
But you have never heard his voice nor seen his form,
and you do not have his word remaining in you,
because you do not believe in the one whom he has sent.
You search the Scriptures,
because you think you have eternal life through them;
even they testify on my behalf.
But you do not want to come to me to have life.

“I do not accept human praise;
moreover, I know that you do not have the love of God in you.
I came in the name of my Father,
but you do not accept me;
yet if another comes in his own name,
you will accept him.
How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another
and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God?
Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father:
the one who will accuse you is Moses,
in whom you have placed your hope.
For if you had believed Moses,
you would have believed me,
because he wrote about me.
But if you do not believe his writings,
how will you believe my words?”


Just when you thought you’ve seen everything, you come across something like this:

Welcome to the story of the Centennial Bulb, the Longest burning Light Bulb in history.
Now in its 116th year of illumination!

That’s right. At Station#6 in Livermore, California, hundreds of thousands have seen, watched and celebrated the 115-year-old bulb which has burned for more than One Million hours and continues to shine. There is even a “Bulbcam” page where you can actually watch the bulb still shining, LIVE, in real time! No one can  explain why the Livermore Light Bulb has had stamina to keep burning through two world wars, a pair of global economic disasters, the entirety of the computer age, and the evolution of transportation from horses-and-buggies to orbiting space stations not to mention Super Bowl football games the size of small cities watched by over 100 million fans.

Of course it is unusual for a single bulb to burn for over a hundred years. Today, typical incandescent bulbs last 1,000 to 2,000 hours. But in speaking about LED replacements, lamp life is routinely quoted as 25,000 to 50,000 hours. Long lamp life, and the reduced power used to create the same amount of light, is what makes this technology so promising. But a million hours?!

However, it is not unusual for the Light of the World to be burning for more than 2000 years and still keeps on shining. Jesus has been giving light for those who walked in darkness. You see, that’s what He does, drives out darkness. He drives out the darkness of fear, hate, prejudice, and all the forces that place darkness and despair into our souls. And ever since God revealed Himself to humanity, there has always been the struggle between light and darkness, goodness and evil. We saw this in our First Reading from Exodus where the people, having seen the greatness and power of God’s love for them, still turned away to worship silliness and petty, worthless things. “They forgot the God who had saved them, who had done great deeds in Egypt…” But God was merciful, preparing our race for something greater, brighter: “So the LORD relented in the punishment he had threatened to inflict on his people.”

In Lent, we follow this great Light through the desert of problems, worries, disappointments and fear. It is all we left and it is why Jesus was sent to us: “God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.”

My friends, Easter is closer now than it has ever been in our journey this year; and our final journey is also closer than ever. When you are sad or down, remember what our God has given us: The Complete Gift of Self in Love. This is Jesus.

 And He is still burning in our darkness!  

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