On this day we begin the season of “daylight saving” by having decided at some moment in the past to say that 7:00AM is now 8:00AM in order that darkness will not descend upon us so soon tonight. It seems ironic that the Scriptures for today include (if reading the alternate “Year A’ texts) a strong directive from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians as well as a declaration before the gospel from John – both on the subject of light.
John declares, “I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the light of life.” (JN 8:12) Having the light of God shining within us is something to be desired and worked toward in our daily life. It’s as if God is promising to be a beacon – like a flashlight for us – which, if we only flip the switch to “ON,” will illuminate our path.
Paul goes even further in his command to the Ephesians and to us that we actually must become the light. No prepositional phrases for Paul about living in the light; rather, Paul says, “You were once darkness but now you are light in the Lord.” (EPH 5:8) For Paul, it seems that following the light of God is not enough. We, ourselves, must be transformed into that light. That’s an astounding statement if we really consider the depth of its meaning. Thomas Merton had a vision of what that might be like which he described as [people] all walking around shining like the sun.
Are we ready and willing to take the responsibility of lighting the way, being that beacon in concert with God?