Staying With the Light

I am not a theologian, and I am pleased to turn to my esteemed colleagues at Benedictine College for all things specific when it comes to discerning the Word of God. I appreciate their guidance, as well as the comforting direction of those in my circle who are part of the religious life. I am, happily, the person in the (currently virtual) pew.

At this point in life, I am “hearing” parts of the Gospels I hadn’t recognized for their “message within the message.” A passage from John 11 for the Fifth Sunday of Lent jumped out to me.

“Let us go back to Judea.”
The disciples said to him,
“Rabbi, the Jews were just trying to stone you,
and you want to go back there?”
Jesus answered,
“Are there not twelve hours in a day?
If one walks during the day, he does not stumble,
because he sees the light of this world.
But if one walks at night, he stumbles,
because the light is not in him.

We can choose to live in fear and trembling in our current health crisis, and that absolutely resonates. It is the unknown that tests us, as it did Jesus’ disciples. Jesus was ready to walk into certain confrontation and death. Yet, Christ points out, when we see the light of this world, we do not stumble. At night, we do.

I surmise John was writing a running narrative, because the miracle of Christ’s raising Lazarus from the dead is the climax of the story, but His admonition about being strong in faith, walking during the day, prepares us to face any adversary, even death, as he world, on the cross, not long after He performed this miracle.

“Things will be clear in the light of day.” How true that is, as it was in Jesus’ time, in our country’s darkest moments, in our own times of personal despair.

Let his light shine before all!

Michael Throop