Come Closer To Christ The Light of the World
Readings: (1st: Is 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 Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico. He is the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canóvanas, and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. He was the chancellor of the Diocese of Fajardo Humacao, Puerto Rico. Fr. Canice is a member of the Academy of Homiletics. For more details and comments contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com.
On this 3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time, the church urges us to draw closer to Christ, the light. This is so that the reality of our life might become fully manifested. This is also so that the shadows that dominate our lives might diminish. Therefore, the church exalts us not to be contented with the physical lights. Instead, we should seek and walk in the light of God, the good news. This is the light that draws us to Christ.
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In the study of the formation of shadows in optical physics, it is known that as an object draws closer to light, its shadow diminishes and becomes real. Whereas the farther away it moves from light, the longer its shadow becomes. The good news has the potential 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 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 have seen a great light; on those who live in the land of deep shadow, a light has shown.” The light, God himself, can achieve many impossible changes in our lives. However, we have to present ourselves before it. God’s light breaks our yoke and shows us the way. It clears our doubts and fears and increases our confidence in God and ourselves.
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, their quarrel and division are 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. We often 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 the light of Christ. No good Christian community receives the light and remains the same.
Today’s gospel fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah through the action of Christ. His presence made a tremendous difference in the lives of the inhabitance of Capernaum and those of the neighboring towns of Zebulon and Naphtali. His light was strongly felt because it brought healing and deliverance. He was their “balm of Gilead” (Jer. 8, 22). So, as replicas of God’s light, our presence must make a positive difference wherever we are. It must dispel the darkness in people’s lives. Are we 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, fear, 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 the light” (Ps. 36, 9).
Peace be with you!