John 2: 3-11
Today’s after Christmas readings celebrate the light of Christ and the light we experience as Christians. John says "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." I am reminded of Thomas Merton’s epiphany moment on Fourth Street in downtown Louisville in which he realized that all the people bustling around him each "shone like the sun". (Today, while shopping for items at Kroger I also had an epiphany moment! A fellow shopper and I lunged for the last loaf of French bread at the same time. I don’t think she and I were experiencing each other as light like Merton described; just saying!)
Yet in some way we all reflect the light of Christ. It’s just difficult to keep this in mind, especially in our world today. The events in Connecticut and Syria prior to Christmas this year certainly were stark reminders of how the darkness is still among us. As I reflect on the work of our Passionist brothers and sisters across the globe I see many efforts to bring light into darkness.
Our Birmingham community works with those struggling with the darkness of poverty. Our retreat center communities of Houston, Detroit, Sierra Madre and Citrus Heights preach the light of Jesus crucified to people caught in the dark moments life sometimes brings us. Our itinerant preachers and pastors minister through preaching God’s love to people all over our country experiencing the struggles we all know so well. Our brothers and sisters in our Louisville community pray for light in the lives of those requesting our prayers.
So today I reflect with you on the light in each of us who love one another. Again in the words of John today, "Whoever loves his brother remains in the light." As Passionists, we spread and preach the light and love of Christ crucified in everything we do, right down to the last loaf of French bread at Kroger.
Terry McDevitt, Ph.D. is a member of our Passionist Family who volunteers at the Passionist Assisted Living Community in Louisville, Kentucky.