"Allow the light and the healing presence of Christ to shine brightly through your lives. In that way, all those who come in contact with you will discover the loving kindness of God." ~ Blessed Pope John Paul II
Gospel text (Jn 8,12-20):
Jesus said to the Jews, «I am the Light of the world; the one who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have light and life». The Pharisees replied, «Now you are speaking on your own be-half, your testimony is worthless». Then Jesus said, «Even though I bear witness to myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I have come from and where I am going. But you do not know where I came from or where I am going. You judge by human standards; as for me, I don't judge anyone. But if I had to judge, my judgment would be valid for I am not alone: the Father who sent me is with me. In your Law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is valid; so I am bearing witness to myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness to me». They asked him, «Where is your Father?». Jesus answered, «You don't know me or my Father; if you knew me, you would know my Father as well». Jesus said these things when he was teaching in the Temple area, in the place where they received the offerings. No one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.
If we're honest, we will admit that sometimes we prefer the darkness to the light. Even on the most literal level, darkness and shadow can provide a kind of comfort. They obscure our physical flaws, they hide us from unwanted company, and they allow us to escape from awkward or inconvenient circumstances.
On a deeper level, however, interior darkness can hide the true state of our soul from us, giving us the false comfort of thinking that we are better than we really are. The scriptures recognize the danger of this condition. For if we confuse darkness with light, if darkness becomes our most comfortable reality, if we enter into a "truce" with our sins, tolerating them rather than struggling against them, then we risk closing our hearts to the clarifying power of Christ's light.
So I guess the question is: "How do we come into contact with the light of Christ? Where is the "switch" that turns on this divine illumination?
In the Rite of Baptism during the Easter Vigil, the newly initiated receive a lighted candle, and they are told, "You have been enlightened by Christ. Walk always as children of the light and keep the flame of faith alive in your hearts. When the Lord comes, may you go out to meet him with all the saints in the heavenly kingdom."
Baptism confers the light of Christ in the form of sanctifying grace, which is "a stable and supernatural disposition that enables the soul to live with God, to act by his love" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, p. 81). Keeping the flame of faith "alive" means continuing to live in God's friendship, seeking reconciliation when it has been wounded or lost by sin, and allowing Christ to direct all of our thoughts and actions.
This can only be accomplished through a committed life dedicated to the Sacraments (Eucharist & frequent confession) and daily prayer (i.e. Rosary, meditation on the Scripture, Eucharistic Adoration, etc). Mother Teresa used this analogy to illustrate this point, “When you look at the inner workings of electrical things, you see wires. Until the current passes through them, there will be no light. That wire is you and me. The current is God. We have the power to let the current pass through us, use us, to produce the light of the world, Jesus, in us. Or we can refuse to be used and allow darkness to spread.”
Let us pray that we will never forget that we have been called into the light.