– Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter –
“I have come as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in the darkness.” [Jn 12:46]
One of the great temptations for believers is to compartmentalize their religion as though it were just another thing to do. Religion can at times be listed amongst other ‘interests’ and even identified as a hobby amongst others. At times the defining factor of being ‘religious’ is that one attends Mass regularly and sends their children to a religious school. Thus religion becomes an hour on Sunday, and (depending on the school) a component added to the child’s education. The reason that this kind of compartmentalization of religion is a temptation is in part because religion is often presented in this way! But this is not the faith that scripture presents, nor is it the faith that the Catholic Church invites us into.
In contrast, the Christian tradition is not merely a few tasks and religious rituals, but an entire life lived in intimacy with God, through Christ, by the Holy Spirit. It’s a life whereby every thought, word and action is informed by that ongoing encounter with God. It’s a life lived in the light of Christ – the light that has ‘come into the world’ so that we ‘need not stay in the dark any more.’ The light of faith doesn’t simply give us the eyes to see God, it gives us the eyes to see everything in the light of God. C.S. Lewis explained this concept in his article entitled “The Weight of Glory” where he wrote, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it but because by it, I see everything else.”
Jesus is the light that lights up everything. He lights up our finances, our interior life, our work life, our relationships … everything. But more important than just lighting up our lives, Jesus makes God visible. Ponder that thought for a moment! We see God in and through Christ – “whoever sees me, sees the one who sent me.” When we see Jesus, we see God.
Far from being a mere interest or activity, God invites us to a religion that transforms every moment of our lives because our whole life is lived in the light of Christ. Are there dark places still kept from Christ’s light in our lives? Today Jesus asks if he can enter, and bring light to those places, heal our hurts and transform our lives.
by Dcn Peter Pellicaan