“I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness.” These powerful words from today’s Gospel give us pause to reflect on light and darkness and good and evil in the world around us. As we pause, let us consider what happens when there is an absence of light. In a true absence of light we have no vision at all, we cannot see where we are going or where we have been, there is much anxiety, trepidation and caution, the mysteries of the dark are very unsettling and fearful to us, and we can say the same for any place where we sense an absence of good.
All that is good in the world comes from our Savior, Jesus Christ and all that is bad or evil comes from the prince of darkness. Each of us has a choice in whom we should follow of whom we should believe. When we follow temptation we lean toward the evil one; when we resist temptation, we lean toward our savior and the one who sent him. Jesus is pleading with us to make noble choices, to follow good and avoid evil, to take the narrow path that leads to salvation while avoiding the path of least resistance that can lead to ruin.
The good path, the high path, the narrow path is the path of a virtuous life it is the path of life and one who finds it finds a treasure.
Of course, this is a very simplistic way of looking at our lives day to day, but if we look at our lives, the choices that we make each day and break them down hour by hour day by day, it does become more simplistic. When we put our trust in Christ and the one who sent him, we become a beacon in a dark world, we become Christ-like in our own humble way and we become the light to lead a friend, a neighbor, even an enemy to the virtuous path. But the same is true when we turn our backs on Christ and venture into the dark, when we become distracted, when we follow the whims of the world when we follow the prince of darkness, and we find ourselves on the dark path. But the beauty of our faith and our role as people of God is the reality that all we have to do is believe and ask our savior to show us the way and that twinkling light, that beacon will find us and bring us to safe harbors.
Deacon James Anderson is the Administrator at Holy Name Passionist Retreat Center in Houston, Texas.