Bearers of Light

May 10, 2017 – Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter

Saint Damien de Veuster, Priest

I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the light of life.  Alleluia!

Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (mpoletunow@malvernretreat.com)

Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (12:44-50)

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,
because I did not speak on my own,
but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and speak.
And I know that his commandment is eternal life.

So what I say, I say as the Father told me.”
 

Reflect: I came into the world as light. The Light has come into the world! During these 50 days of Easter, the Paschal Candle remains lit for all liturgical celebrations. This is the same candle that was processed into a dark church at the Easter Vigil; it cuts through the emptiness of death and the tomb. It is an ever-present reminder that Jesus is the Light; in him there is no darkness. He is constantly inviting us to know the light and to remain in the light. The challenge for us is not to only receive the light, but to be a bearer of light to everyone whom we encounter along the way.  Through our baptism, Jesus entrusts the light to each of us. We are bearers of light to a world that, too often, is engulfed in death, destruction and the darkness of sin.  Jesus asks us to bring his light to others without discriminating. As he generously lights the way for us, so we are called to bring love instead of hatred, hope instead of despair, forgiveness instead of revenge, joy instead of sadness, peace instead of chaos. Whether someone welcomes and receives the light of Christ is on them: “Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words has something to judge him.” As believers, however, we must be bearers of light. Today we commemorate Saint Damien the Leper, a true light of Christ to persons who were cast off onto Molokai, Hawaii.

Questions: What choices do I make to be light, to bring light to the people and situations that I encounter in any given day? When darkness begins to surround me, do I respond with more darkness and death or with light? How has Jesus been the Light for me in my own life’s journey?

Pray: Loving God, you are the life of the faithful, glory of the humble and blessedness of the just. Be the inextinguishable light of my life. Light my way and keep me on your path. Give me the grace to persevere in seeking you as the Light of the world and in bringing your presence to everyone I encounter and into every place I walk.  I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

I have chosen you from the world, says the Lord, and have appointed you to go out and bear fruit, fruit that will last.  Alleluia!

Saint Damien de Veuster (Damien the Leper) was born in Belgium and joined the Fathers of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. He arrived in Honolulu in 1864 and in 1873 began ministry on Molokai, known as “Devil’s Island” because it was used as a colony for over 800 lepers. Damien was diagnosed with leprosy himself in 1885. He was a man of intense interior life and deep simplicity. “I make myself a leper with the lepers, to gain all for Jesus Christ.” Damien died on April 15, 1889.

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