“. . . for the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.” 1 John 2:8
Today is the fifth day in the octave of Christmas. The readings remind us of the great gift that has been given to us through the birth of the Christ. In the First Letter of John gives us the message of walking in the way of Christ through the commandments. The two commandments that Christ gave to his Apostles and us; To love God with all our heart, soul and mind and to love our neighbors as ourselves. The message goes on to speak about what it means to walk in the light and what it means to walk in the darkness. Walking in the light requires us to love our “brother” which is not in reference to a sibling but to our next door neighbor, people in our neighborhood, people in our subdivision or living complex. It is in reference to those who live in our city, country and all who live on earth.
How am I the light of Christ to others?
The Gospel of Luke is about Mary and Joseph taking Jesus up to the temple to offer a sacrifice, which was the custom of the day. They meet Simeon a “righteous and devout” man who also hoped in the promise of a messiah. What a gift he had been given to be able to see the one who would bring salvation to his people and to the world. I have always loved his words:
“Lord, now let your servant go in peace;
your word has been fulfilled:
my own eyes have seen the salvation
which you have prepared in the sight of every people,
a light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Israel.”
The one phrase from the above passage that strikes me the most is “a light to reveal you . . .”
This phrase has been a reminder for me about being a light that reveals God to others. It calls me to reflect on how I am growing in my faith. Am I taking time to pray each day or reflect on the daily readings? Do I really listen to Father’s homily on Sunday and be open to how God is calling me to grow in my spiritual life? The winter time offers us an opportunity to sit in silence and the stillness. Just as the trees and plants rest over the winter to prepare for the coming of Spring so too for us it can be a time to relax and reflect on growing in our spiritual life. We can’t be a light if we don’t have the light.
May the coming New Year bring you peace and joy!
Linda Schork is a theology teacher at Saint Xavier High School in Louisville, Kentucky.