The Night is Always Darkest Before the Dawn

Categories: Features

Psalm 130:6-7 “My soul looks for the Lord
more than sentinels for daybreak.
More than sentinels for daybreak,
let Israel hope in the Lord,
For with the Lord is mercy,
with him is plenteous redemption,”

When you can, reread the miracles of Jesus, especially in the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke). I am often struck by the sheer volume of miracles Jesus performed. In one chapter, Matthew 8 alone, Jesus heals a leper, the centurion’s servant, and Peter’s mother-in-law. Then He teaches, calms the storm on the sea, and casts out the demons from the Gerasene demoniacs. He did all of these things in a single chapter! And he also performed many more miracles in other places—the blind see, the lame walk, the deaf hear, and the dead rise.

Then came His crucifixion. The disciples saw the great prophet, their teacher, the Christ, condemned as a criminal and crucified on a cross. The man on whom they had pinned all their hopes, the man who performed great miracles, the man for whom people had laid down their cloaks while He entered Jerusalem, was executed as a common criminal. How crushed must the disciples have been! How dark their night must have seemed. So, too, can we feel that our own situation is dark.

People might have hoped beyond hope, believed beyond belief, that His death wasn’t lasting, that something would happen for the redemption of Israel and maybe the world. Then one day passed. And another. How did Jesus’ followers feel during that time? Was there any hope left in the miracle worker Jesus of Nazareth? They were tempted to despair. And how often do we do the same? It’s easy to give up hope, feeling purposelessness and defeat.

Until the third day.

Jesus is raised from the dead! Paul says in his sermon in the Areopagus, “[God] has provided confirmation for all by raising him from the dead” (Acts 17:31). This is our witness as Christians: that Christ rose again from the dead so that we might come to believe and know the love of God and the truth of the Resurrection.

The night is always darkest before the dawn. In the moment when all seemed over and truly lost, Jesus came back. His resurrection was like the first rays of the sun that peek over the horizon, signaling the end of the night and the beginning of a new day.

Amidst our struggles and this pandemic, we have to keep in mind that things may get darker and harder, but the dawn will come. Maybe not in three days or in three months, but we must have hope. Christ has conquered the last enemy: death. The Son will come, and we will be raised with Him. We wait, yearning and hoping for the new dawn, as sentinels wait for the dawn.

Br. David Woo, O.P. | Meet the Student Brothers in Formation HERE