“Light gives of itself freely, filling all available space. It does not seek anything in return; it asks not whether you are friend or foe. It gives of itself and is not thereby diminished.” ~Michael Strassfeld
The Vigil Mass of Easter begins a bit dramatically. The faithful go outside into the dark — the Mass, technically, cannot begin until after sunset so that it is dark — and then light and bless a fire. That blessed fire is then used to light a newly blessed candle. Afterward, the Paschal Candle is processed into the church with the proclamation: “Christ, Our Light!” The congregation responds, “Thanks be to God!”
On many feast days in the liturgical year, we emphasize that Jesus is the light of the world. We call Him the light that banishes darkness and speak of the healing light of His love. I today’s Gospel, Jesus told His people, “I came into the world as light.”
Light is a vivid image for us. When we speak of someone who is blind, we often talk about how that person lives in the dark. For many of us, that is a fearful thought. The dark carries negative — and frightening — connotations for many.
Just as we proclaim Jesus to be the light of the world, we come to realize that we, too, are called to bring His light into our world by the manner in which we live our lives. We are to do so freely and for not personal gain. Our love should be directed to all people, not just a select few. If we live our lives correctly, we will effect a change in everyone we meet and that change will be for the better. Our world will have more of God’s light in it and we, in turn, will receive of that same light.
You cannot stop light. I like to remind people when I do baptisms and give a lighted candle to the godparents that The Christophers have a motto: “All the darkness in the world cannot put out the light of a single candle.” As oppressive as the dark can be, it only takes one small light to shatter it.
FAITH ACTION: As you have accepted the light of Christ, be that light for others today and dispel the darkness that may have overtaken their lives.