4th Sunday of Lent


2 Chronicles 36:14-16. 19-23
Ephesians 2:4-10
John 3:14-21


In her book Return to Love, Maryanne Williamson writes, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us” (1992: Harper Collins). It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. Why are we afraid of our light? Why are we afraid to shine?

Jesus teaches that humanity prefers the darkness because, in the darkness, we can hide our darker selves. The light illuminates our sinfulness, our Godlessness, and our apathy. But I also believe it is our reluctance to shine the spotlight on ourselves that makes us hide. We fear that others will think we are flattering ourselves. We don’t want to show off or stand out. Yet, we are not called to hide our light. Jesus clearly taught, “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds” and give glory to God (Matt. 5:16).

Indeed, as Williamson goes on to say, “There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.” We believe in Christ, the one who came into the world, not to condemn [it], but so that through him, the world might be saved” (John 3:17). Our responsibility then, as believers in this saving power, is to share Christ’s light with the world, the light that is Christ, the light that lives in us as temples of God’s Holy Spirit.

Today, let your light shine brightly and brilliantly upon the world!

Angela Marquis works for the Hobart Passionists at St Joseph’s in Tasmania, with WATAC (Women and the Australian Church), and as a primary school chaplain.