Wednesday April 10, 2002 Homily by Fr. Robert Altier Second Week of Easter
Reading (Acts 5:17-26) Gospel (St. John 3:16-21)
In the Gospel reading today, Jesus tells Nicodemus that God sent His Son into the world, not that the world would be condemned by the Son of God, but rather that the world would be saved - that whoever believes in Him would be saved. Then He goes on to tell us that men love darkness more than light. We know that in our own lives. We see it in society around us. Saint Paul talks about it. Our Lord talks about it: how those who do evil deeds keep them in the darkness. Saint Paul talks about the carousing and the drunkenness and all the deeds of darkness, all the things that happen once the sun goes down.
We must bring our deeds into the light. Jesus Christ is the light, and He alone is able to forgive the sins that we have committed. But we need to go beyond simply confessing sins. In other words, we cannot fall into presumption: to go out and sin and just come back and confess them. That continues the living in darkness. It is willfully choosing darkness, but bringing the deeds into the light. We need to learn to live in the light, not just bring the deeds to the light, but be children of the light. [We need] to live in the light of Jesus Christ at all times, to strive for that holiness which requires that our deeds will be righteous, that they will be virtuous, not done as a matter of simple requirement, but rather, as a point of love, not done merely because we think they have to be done that way, but because we love Jesus and we do not wish to hurt Him or violate Him in any way.
That love for the Lord, then, leads us to act in the Lord, to act in the light. That is exactly what Our Lord tells us at the end of the Gospel: Whoever acts in truth comes into the light to make clear that his deeds are done in God. That is the goal of our lives: to overcome sin in our lives through growth in holiness, and to become conformed to Jesus Christ - Who is the truth, Who is the light. Our deeds will be done in the truth; our deeds will be done in light; and we will be conformed to the truth and to the light. We will have nothing to hide because everything will be done in Jesus Christ. That is the way the Lord desires for each one of us to live our lives: fully in Him so that it is He who lives in us, to be so much conformed to Christ that we can say with Saint Paul, "It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me." When Christ lives in us and through us, when we give our will so perfectly to the Will of God that they become one, then we will be light, then we will be truth, and our deeds will be in the light because they will be the deeds – indeed, the very Will - of Jesus Christ.
* This text was transcribed from the audio recording of a homily by Father Robert Altier with minimal editing.