7 June 2016
“You are the light of the world,” Jesus tells us in the Gospel of Matthew. But in the Gospel of John he says, “I am the Light of the world.” Well, which is it? Are we the light of the world, or is he? And the answer is . . . both.
If Jesus is like a light bulb, we’re like a lamp which holds that light. A lamp can only light up a room if there’s a bulb in it. We are the light of the world, as Jesus says. And we brighten others’ lives with peace, joy, and charity . . . but only to the extent that Jesus is the Light within our own personal world.
At every Mass we say, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof.” And that’s true—but we must let him in, like the widow of Zarephath who let Elijah under her roof. She and her son were on the verge of being destitute, but then Elijah brought the light of God to her and her son. For a whole year, Elijah was an instrument of God’s abundance in that little home.
For us to be the light of the world, Christ has to be the Light of our own world—we have to let him into our souls and minds, and even into our physical homes. Just think about what kind of religious items you have at home: a crucifix, maybe an image of Jesus or the saints, palms from Palm Sunday, maybe some candles, a Bible, prayer books, and so on. What about art and music, books by spiritual writers. They’re all ways that help us to let Christ “enter under my roof."
Of course, the Eucharist and all the sacraments are most important in letting the Light of Christ come into the home which is our soul. We are the light of the world, as Jesus says . . . but only to the extent that we let Jesus be our Light.