Yanke Academy

The light came into the world but men preferred darkness (John 3:19)—while we can’t put out the Sun, we can close the blinds. In my hunger and thirst for righteousness, help me seek Your transfigured glory and worship You. - The Personal Rosary
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The light came into the world but men preferred darkness (John 3:19)—while we can’t put out the Sun, we can close the blinds. In my hunger and thirst for righteousness, help me seek Your transfigured glory and worship You.

We live in a world full of lies. This is the result of the world’s rejection of God—who is Truth-personified. Lying is the work of the devil who has no truth in him. By his nature, he is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44). As the father of lies, he separates those God created for unity with Him from Truth… from Him. He deceived our first parents and gave birth to their sin… their separation from God. It doesn’t matter how great the lie may be—all lies are born of evil. All lies are in opposition to the will of God. All lies pull a veil over the perceptions of man that he may walk in darkness rather than in the light of truth.

Lies commit violence toward others. They undermine free will and self-determination. Through lies, man’s judgements and decisions are perverted and the very fabric of society is torn in broken trust (CCC 2486). Yet modern man celebrates his lies as he crafts self-portraits for public consumption that become masks worn to hide their true selves. Men embrace the lies as a preservation of their personal and public image and resist the truth as a destroyer of their carefully crafted false realities. Relationships are built and destroyed on the shifting foundations of intentionally warped perceptions.

The lies of the world leave man in a state of perpetual confusion—not knowing right from wrong. On the shifting sands of societal deception, man often loses his balance and mental stability. Embracing the lies and turning from the truth leaves man without his creator and without purpose.

The first effect of not believing in God is that you lose your common sense (G.K. Chesterton).

There are many who suffer in believing themselves to be the center of their own universes. It comes from the selfishness born of lies and simmers in fear. It’s an awful weight to bear and a burden we were not meant to carry. A man who thinks he is a god yet has no power is a miserable creature mired in perpetual responsibility and failure. We were meant to worship the one God who is truly the author and perfecter of faith (Heb 12:2) and the Lord of all creation. In Him, we find love and freedom.

A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the Sun by scribbling the word “darkness” on the walls of his cell (C.S. Lewis).

Into this world came the Creator Himself in the person of Jesus Christ. He came to draw man from the darkness into the light but man preferred the darkness where he can hide—just as our first parents hid themselves from God in their shame (Gen 3:8).

And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God (John 3:19-21).

Man finds many excuses to reject the truth. If a prophet comes and goes against the grain of the world, he is rejected for his differences. If a prophet embraces sinners, he must not be a prophet.

“To what shall I compare this generation? It is like children who sit in marketplaces and call to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance, we sang a dirge but you did not mourn.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said, ‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is vindicated by her works” (Matt 11:16-19).

The darkness of the world tries to hide the light but that is impossible. Darkness is not a cloak or a veil to cover light. Darkness is the absence of light. When the light is present, darkness flees.

…the light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it
(John 1:5).

A single candle may light a whole room… but there may also be shadows. Those shadows are found where men hide from the light and seek to keep their followers in darkness. So it is with daylight. Men can’t put out the Sun but they can shield themselves from its light. As the Sun shines upon all who venture into its rays, men may close their blinds to hide. Just so, lies can’t overcome truth. Those who traffic in lies must silence the truth. In the modern world, society seeks to remove God from view to be hidden behind the walls of churches. As churches acquiesce to the demands of the secular state, the darkness grows. 

Now the natural person does not accept what pertains to the Spirit of God, for to him it is foolishness, and he cannot understand it, because it is judged spiritually. The spiritual person, however, can judge everything but is not subject to judgment by anyone (1 Cor 2:14-15).

Jesus came into the world so that the world would not remain in darkness. He brought His light for all. He spoke in one time and place and commissioned His friends to carry the light to others in ages to come. He came to call all people… and there is a mission for His people. We light our candles from the torch of His truth and carry the light into the shadows of the world that all people may see by it.

But you are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises” of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9).

This is our calling—to live as children of the light in the world. We are to be a beacon to those who still seek the light yet are hidden in the shadows of the world’s lies.

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth. Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness; rather expose them, for it is shameful even to mention the things done by them in secret; but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore, it says:

 

“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will give you light”
(Eph 5:8-14).

In our Lord’s Transfiguration, we see His light shine forth physically. He is the radiant Son of God who is light and life. He is a prophet come to share the wisdom and counsel of God. His counsel is simple: in His great love for us, God entered His own creation to save us from the darkness of sin and death. In His commission to His people, we become Him in our unity with Him to continually present the light of His Truth and His presence to the world. May we live our communion with Him in a way that inspires the world to come out from the darkness into the eternal embrace of the light of God’s love and truth.

I shall deliver you from this people and from the Gentiles to whom I send you, to open their eyes that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may obtain forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been consecrated by faith in me’ (Acts 26:17-18).

The greatest love we can show our fellow men is to share with them the light of truth that they may come to share in the inheritance from our loving Father in Heaven. In the lies of the world, there is disunity and division. In truth, men are united with each other and their Creator.

One of the scribes, when he came forward and heard them disputing and saw how well he had answered them, asked him, “Which is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus replied, “The first is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:28-31).

Beloved, I am writing no new commandment to you but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. And yet I do write a new commandment to you, which holds true in him and among you, for the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining. Whoever says he is in the light, yet hates his brother, is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother remains in the light, and there is nothing in him to cause a fall. Whoever hates his brother is in darkness; he walks in darkness and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes (1 John 2:7-11).

Our greatest power is in our Lord who defends us.

Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power. Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens. Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground. So stand fast with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate, and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace. In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all [the] flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Eph 6:10-17).

Made new in Baptism, we no longer follow the lies of the world but live in the light of truth.

So I declare and testify in the Lord that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds; darkened in understanding, alienated from the life of God because of their ignorance, because of their hardness of heart, they have become callous and have handed themselves over to licentiousness for the practice of every kind of impurity to excess. That is not how you learned Christ, assuming that you have heard of him and were taught in him, as truth is in Jesus, that you should put away the old self of your former way of life, corrupted through deceitful desires, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, created in God’s way in righteousness and holiness of truth (Eph 4:17-24).

God came in the flesh—light from light—true God from true God—to bring humanity from the darkness of sin and death into the light of His presence. The lies of this world lead to death. He came to give us the truth of Himself that we might no longer walk in darkness. In love, we share what we have been given—the light of truth—His identity from eternity—the Gospel of our Lord—the greatest gift we have to give—made prophets in communion with Him—our mission as children of God.

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Todays Reflection

The Sorrowful mysteries

The Sorrowful Mysteries are the greatest love story ever told. No man has greater love than to die for his friends ( John 15:13 )... how much greater the love when dying for his torturers! What is love if not self-denial for someone else? What is self-denial without sacrifice? Christ was crucified, died, and was buried for us while we were yet sinners. He suffered a death we deserve. Sinless Himself, He took on our shame and bore it in His flesh. We are called to take up our crosses and follow His example of sacrificial love.

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