Come Closer To Christ The Light of the World
Readings: (1st: Ish 8,23-9.3; Ps 26, 1. 4. 13-14; 2nd: I Cor 1, 10-13.17; Gos: Mt 4, 12-23)
This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working with the Spiritan International Group of Puerto Rico & Dominican Republic. He is the Administrator of Parroquia La Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Chancellor of the Diocesis of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico. For more details and comments contact him on: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.
On this 3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time, the church enjoins us to us to draw closer to Christ the real light. This is in order that the reality of our life might become fully manifested. This is also, in order that the shadows that dominate our lives might diminish. Therefore, the church, exalts us not to be contented with the physical lights. Rather, we should seek and walk in the light of God, the good news. This is the light which draws us to Christ.
In the study of formation of shadows in optical physics, it is known that as an object draws closer to light, its shadow diminishes and it becomes real. Whereas, the farther away it moves from light, the longer its shadow becomes. The good news has the potentials to cast off our shadows. It is, “Christ who lives in us.” (Gal 2, 20). He is the joy of our salvation.
In the first reading, Isaiah raises our hope. This hope comes from the fact that the God has manifested his light on us. It is a message of deliverance from the power of darkness that formerly harassed us. Isaiah declares: “The people that walked in darkness has seen a great light; on those who live in the land of deep shadow a light has shown.” The light which is God himself is capable of achieving so many impossible changes our lives. However, we have to present ourselves before it. God’s light breaks our yoke. It shows us the way. It clears our doubts and fears, and increases our confidence in God and in ourselves too.
In the second reading, Paul expressed his disappointment over the Corinthian community. He rebuked them for their bad behavior. This is because, they still lived in the shadow of darkness and ignorance. For Paul, the quarrel and division among them is not a good sign that they live in the light of Christ. Hence, he denounced their way of life.
Paul draws our attention to the very essence of the good news. That is, casting off the shadows of darkness and ignorance. Most times, we quarrel over nothing, even in the house of God. This was the problem of this Corinthian community. When we act this way, we betray the good news. We also, drift away from light of Christ. No good Christian community receives the light and remains the same.
In the gospel, the prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled through the action of Christ. His presence made a great difference in the life of the people of Capernaum as well as those of neighboring towns of Zebulon and Naphtali. His light was strongly felt because it brought healing and deliverance. He proved to be their “balm of Gilead” (Jer. 8, 22). So, as replicas of the God’s light, our presence must make a positive difference wherever we are. It must dispel the darkness in people’s lives. Are we really making any difference?
Finally, today the Church beckons us to come closer to Christ who says: “I am the light of the world. The man who follows me will not walk in darkness” (Jn 8, 12). Wherever there is the light of God, darkness and quarrels disappear. Also, despair, fears, anger, greed, betrayal, lying, cheating, lust, and all other vices disappear. Wherever the light of the good news shines, “the people who lived in darkness see a great light.” Therefore, if we follow, and come closer to Christ, the light, then: “In His light, we shall see light” (Ps. 36, 9).
Peace be with you!