Light of the World
Growing up as a child in the Philippines, a Third World country,
I experienced living without electricity for almost a month. During
the typhoon season (especially June through August), the government-controlled
electric company would cut power in some suburbs of metropolitan
Manila, the nation’s capital. Typhoons are tropical storms
similar to hurricanes in Florida, Louisiana and the Caribbean.
As an elementary school student, there were many nights when I
did my homework using candlelight, but then kerosene lamps were
better because they were brighter; they gave more light and so
I could see more clearly and do my homework better.
We certainly need light to function, to live and to see, day and
night. God created light – the sun, the moon and the stars.
But aside from the natural and artificial lights we now enjoy,
thanks be to God, our Creator God is also the light of our hearts
and minds, who leads and guides us every day of our lives. In
John’s Gospel, Jesus says, “I am the light of the
world.” In this story, Jesus heals a blind man so he can
see. In our blindness, in our weaknesses, in our darkest hours,
faith in God through Jesus Christ will allow us to see again,
to be relieved and comforted, to be forgiven and to be converted,
so that we can continue to be followers of Christ. We will be
able to see again through our eyes of faith, gifts of God to all
of us. We only need to pray to God, to get closer to Him and to
trust in Him through Christ Jesus.
Our first reading from the First Book of Samuel says that God
does not see things the way we do, because God looks into the
heart. God looks into our hearts and He knows what’s there.
Just like Jesus Christ, the saints and so many faithful people,
we are called to be “lights of the world,” especially
to be lights to each other. This is one of the deepest desires
we have in our hearts. And how do we do that – to be light
to each other? We have to continue to love God; to love one another;
to forgive each other our sins seventy times seven times; to help
those who are poor, needy and weak; to visit the sick; to be patient
with each other’s weaknesses and to promote peace and justice
in our world today.
Today’s second reading, from Paul’s Letter to the
Ephesians, says that we have “to live as children of light,
for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and
truth. Everything exposed by the light becomes visible.”
We already started our Lenten journeys and we continue with it;
we continue the practices we do such as fasting, abstinence, prayer
and reflection, participating in the sacraments such Eucharist
and Reconciliation, giving alms to the poor and needy, volunteering
our time to help the poor and so forth. These are other ways in
which we can live as children of light and lights of the world,
which our good Lord is always inviting us to.
By loving, forgiving and doing these good works of faith, hope
and charity, we make God’s kingdom visible and real here
on earth. Through our good deeds and Christian living, we proclaim
to all peoples the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ,
the Light of the World, and we spread peace, reconciliation, justice
and love throughout our planet. May God continue the good work
He already started in all of us, so that we can continue to live
in the light and truly be the lights of the world our Creator
created us to be.