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Last week we were introduced to John the Baptist as part of our Advent journey. We hear his story again today, and in this account, from the fourth gospel, we hear John’s voice and his testimony about Jesus. Light and darkness is a key theme of the fourth gospel and its opening verses proclaims that this light has always shone in the dark; the darkness cannot overpower it. The evangelist goes on to tell us that John the Baptist’s mission is that he has been sent by God to ‘speak for the light’. John is a light-bearer, he is not the light, but he points to the light. He is a witness to the light of God in our world, a light that cannot be put out
We celebrate this light today on Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete means ‘rejoice’; we light the pink candle and we celebrate with joy. It might be a good opportunity to ask today: ‘who have been the light-bearers on your own faith journey’? Who testified to the Light of God and passed the torch on to you? We thank God for them.
Lord there is much darkness in society and in our church … We become cynical and settle for mediocrity. We thank you that someone always comes on the scene, sent by you as a witness to speak for the light … teachers, community leaders, grandparents, children, a friend … they bear witness to the rest of us that somewhere in the dark a light shines that darkness cannot overcome.