Children of Light

Brothers and sisters:
Be kind to one another, compassionate,
forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.

Be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love,
as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us
as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma.
Immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be mentioned among you,
as is fitting among holy ones,
no obscenity or silly or suggestive talk, which is out of place,
but instead, thanksgiving.
Be sure of this, that no immoral or impure or greedy person,
that is, an idolater,
has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and of God.

Let no one deceive you with empty arguments,
for because of these things
the wrath of God is coming upon the disobedient.
So do not be associated with them.
For you were once darkness,
but now you are light in the Lord.
Live as children of light.
(Ephesians 4:32-5:8)   

 

Scripture Study

5:5–7. The Christian also has to fight against covetousness and greed, vices which make one a slave to power and money, which can become a kind of idol (cf. Mt 6:24). When using the things of this world, the Christian must avoid growing attached to them: “The Lord does not command us to demolish our house and have no truck with money. What he does desire is that we remove from our soul the priority given to possessions, uncontrolled greed and desire for riches, the cares, the thorns of this life, which smother the seed of the true life” (Clement of Alexandria, Quis dives salvetur, 11).

5:8–9. In contrast to the Christian’s previous situation, which St Paul describes as “darkness”, he now goes on to speak about the proper course for a believer, for someone enlightened by faith. The Christian is in a different position from that of a pagan; he knows our Lord Jesus Christ and he has a new way of thinking: he is a “child of light”, because Christ has given him insight into the criteria which should govern his behavior. In his new life, he should be light; he has been reborn to be the “light of the world” (cf. Mt 5:14–16; Jn 1:5; 8:12), a pursuer of all that is good and right and true; this means that he has a new way of being and thinking and acting, and is an example and a help to those around him. St John Chrysostom preached; “if you are truly a Christian, it is impossible for you not to be able to do so […]. If we act properly, everything else will follow as a natural consequence. Christians’ light cannot be hidden, a lamp so brilliant cannot fail to be seen” (Hom. on Acts, 20).[1]

Reflection

 “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light

Do you recall the first time you really recognized the power of light and darkness? There was a period of time when our family lived in the pacific northwest, where it would stay light to almost 10 o’clock at night during the summer months.

As you might imagine, our children were pretty certain that we had lost our senses when we uttered those words “time for bed” when they could see it was still daylight outside. Even when we showed them the clock was at 8 o’clock, the time when they always went to bed, they were certain something was amiss. Our daughter confidently told us one night, “I think God wants us to stay up as he hasn’t told the sun to go to bed yet!”

Light is more powerful than the darkness, just as love is more powerful than hate. As “children of light” we are reminded by St Paul that our task is to shine the light of love to all. It is not always an easy thing to do. We can become trapped by the darkness that lurks in the shadows of life. When we find ourselves in those dark spots, we need to remember that Christ’s love drives away all darkness. His light is love – embrace the light!

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.

 

 

 

[1] Saint Paul’s Captivity Letters, The Navarre Bible (Dublin; New York: Four Courts Press; Scepter Publishers, 2005), 67–68.