“I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness” (Jn 12:46).
What might be the darkness that Jesus refers to? It could be anything that turns us within ourselves, away from that which is True, Good, and Beautiful. This can be prejudice, ignorance, cynicism, sin, violence, hatred, racism, war, division, dehumanization, and the list goes on.
A major root that keeps us in this darkness is fear. Jesus offers us the light of his Father. He encourages us to leave our self-imposed imprisonment by loving us as we are, more than we can imagine, and more than we can ever mess up. Christianity is not just a set of moral principles, a set of doctrines, a philosophy, or a theology. Christianity is about an encounter with a person, the Son of God, Jesus the Christ.
The light of Jesus leads and invites us to experience that which we have been created and are restless for – an intimate relationship with God the Father and each other. Through the light of his love, Jesus reveals to us those apparent goods, false substitutes, and idols that distract us and keep us separated from deepening our relationship with God. We come to know God when we are willing to receive the love of the Holy Spirit, to be ourselves by letting go of our masks, and are moved to share that love with each other.
Jesus, please help us to resist any selfish impulse or reaction based on any fears or past hurts and guide us instead to love as you have loved us. Help us to be led by you to participate in simple acts such as a smile, an offer assistance, to reach out, to be present, and willing to listen, and/or to choose to be more understanding, supportive, and encouraging. In these small ways, please shine in and through us, then out toward others. Help us to trust that the darkness will not overcome the radiance of your light!
Photo: Sacred Heart of Jesus statue on the grounds of St Peter Catholic Church, Jupiter FL