Skip to main content

Livin' in the light

Jesus cried out and said, "Whoever believes in me believes not only in me but also in the one who sent me, and whoever sees me sees the one who sent me. I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness. And if anyone hears my words and does not observe them, I do not condemn him, for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world. Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words has something to judge him: the word that I spoke, it will condemn him on the last day...Jn. 12:44-48

It would be easy to read the Gospel of John today, and say, "Hey, Jesus doesn't condemn anybody - it says so right here: I do not condemn him! It's okay to ignore Jesus' words - He's cool with that." But -like everything in the Bible- you have to read the whole passage, get the context: "Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words has something to judge him: the word that I spoke...."

The Bible contains around 100 references to light - more than a dozen in the Gospel of John. In that Gospel, Christ identifies Himself as the Light, the Light that brings truth to a dark world.

The funny thing about being in the dark is that we adjust to it. It starts to seem normal. You know, it's like when you lose electricity and you get out the candles and the flashlights. You manage, you do what you need to do in the tiny flickers from the wick and the battery. Then, when the lights come back on, you are nearly blinded - it's harsh, almost too much.

We get used to being in sin. We adjust. What first bothered us, then pricked our conscience, no longer seems to be a problem at all. We're used to it. When a light gets shined on it - a word from a sermon, a mention from a loved one concerned for us - we shy away; the light is too much. But we need that light.

You don't want to just "manage" in your life. You don't want to accommodate the darkness, and fumble around. You want to have light - even if it seems harsh at first - so that you can see everything that you need to see. We are not shooting for dimness, we are aiming for brightness and light and truth and illumination. And that is what Christ promises in the fullness of His word.


Popular posts from this blog

Trying to "end run" God

If you're a football fan, you know what an end run is. From Merriam-Webster:
a football play in which the ballcarrier attempts to run wide around the end of the line We try to "end run" God a lot. I do. I figure I know better. I've got this - no need to worry the Big Guy about such a trivial thing.

Of course, it never works.

Like the puppy above, when we try and evade the tough obstacle (even though we KNOW we will eventually have to do it), we end up - well, off in the bushes.

But oh! How I wished my way worked. I'd love to take a flying leap and land smoothly and gracefully. People would be in awe, as if watching Simone Biles nail a balance beam routine that no one else would even attempt. I would shyly look down and blush - just lightly - and acknowledge (But humbly! Oh so humbly!) my achievement.

But no: I am the one pulling myself out of the bushes, scratches all over my legs and twigs in my hair. I'd hear that gentle but loving voice of God saying, &quo…

Crossing Guard

I saw you
as you guided
your little man across that busy street.

You were wearing some
big man boots
watching cars and lights.

Your little man had on
black sneakers and
a Mickey Mouse hat
that bounced
as he walked.

He wasn't watching nothing but
your big man boots
the white stripes of the crosswalk.

Just before
he got to the sidewalk again,
his step bounced a bit
- he hopped over
a spot where the asphalt broke.

You turned to look,
holding out a hand to
your little man.
Not rushed or angry,
just making sure
he got up
on that sidewalk.

Then you walked on,
in your big man boots,
face into a cold Michigan wind,
with the little man behind,
his hat bouncing.

Be Transfigured

From today's readings: 

Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother, John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the and his clothes became white as light.

...we possess the prophetic message that is altogether reliable. You will do well to be attentive to it as to a lamp shining in a dark place until day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.

Today we celebrate the Transfiguration. For whatever reason, Jesus brought three of His disciples to Mount Tabor to witness this miracle. They weren't sure what they were seeing, but they knew enough to throw themselves to the ground in the presence of Almighty God. St. Peter (who never did anything halfway) excitedly declares that he will erect tents on the mountain as a way of memorializing the event. But Jesus tells him and the others that they are not to tell people what they witnessed - at least not yet.

In the second reading, the requirement to be quiet has bee…