The people who sit in darkness have seen a great light;
on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death,
light has arisen. (Mt 4:16)
Light is an image that is used quite often in the Church’s liturgy. It is most prominent, of course, in the Masses of Easter, beginning with the Vigil Mass of Easter when the fire and Paschal Candle are blessed. As the Paschal Candle is processed into the church at the Vigil Mass, we sing, “Christ, our light! Thanks be to God!”
Light is very important. Without it, things can look very bleak. We know that to be the case especially at this time of year. The winter months often are darker than usual. In the prolonged darkened days of the season, many people become depressed. There is even an illness associated with this time of year and the lack of natural sunlight: SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).
Light is not only important, light is crucial. If we were to lose the sunlight, crops would die since they use the process of photosynthesis to convert sunlight to chemical energy to fuel the cell’s organisms.
When they are exposed to prolonged dark, plants die. When we live in spiritual darkness, we run the risk of dying spiritually. If we lose the light of Christ, we end up living in the darkness of sin and death.
There is a remedy. Jesus Christ is the light that permeates all darkness. Though we had lived in a land of darkness and gloom, Jesus’ death and resurrection restored light to our world and sight to our eyes. It is that lifesaving moment we celebrate each and every time we gather around the table of the Lord.
Being a people of the light, our challenge is to share that light with others who may need it. There are many people who live in the darkness of sin and, consequently, risk the darkness of eternal death. To them we are called to bring the light of Christ.
He has come into our world and He asks us to share Him with those most in need.
FAITH ACTION: Resolve to be a shining light for others to follow by the words you choose to speak and the actions you choose to do today.