This reflection was taken from the Sunday Mass Readings of Apr. 6, 2014:
“If one walks during the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if one walks at night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him,” says the Lord in today’s Gospel reading.
Now I personally have the ability to navigate my way around the house in darkness without bumping into much of anything–and certainly not stumbling (unless there’s a dog, dog toy, cat, or footstool on the floor in an unexpected place). While it might be brighter (figuratively as well as literally) if I just turned lights on to see my way around, I don’t think this is what Jesus is referring to.
During the “Last Supper Discourses,” Jesus said to His Apostles, “I am the way and the truth and the life” (Jn 14:6). In order to not “stumble,” therefore, we should walk (live) in the light of Jesus.
Jesus is truth. His truth will allow us to see clearly; without it, our vision will be obscured by doubt, fear, unfaithfulness, or sin. We would be walking in the dark, “because the light is not in [us].”
People often try to follow other “lights.” We have such high regard for material things, fallible people, and false faiths. Jesus’ light compared to these “others” is like (from our perspective) the sun compared to the other stars. We see the stars, and we think they’re pretty. We see that they give off some light, so we attempt to walk in that light; but in truth, that light is darkness for us–it doesn’t provide what we really need to see–and we will stumble and fall.
Which sustains us upon the earth–the sun, or the stars? If one of the stars in the sky were to die, half the people of the earth probably wouldn’t even know it; but if the sun were to go away, it would be the unquestionable end. Likewise, it is Jesus who sustains us, not these other little things which we think are more important.
Whether we know it or not, Jesus (like the sun) is much closer to us than are any of the things we put before Him. Of course, unlike the sun, whether we are close to Him is our own choice–which is sometimes entirely another story. But if we leave the darkness of night, and turn instead to the light of day (Jesus’ light)–if we truly give ourselves to God–then His light will blot out everything else. What I mean is that He will help us to realize that He is the most important thing; if we can only love Him as we should–if we can walk in His light and His truth–then all other things will fade into the background, just as the stars do during the day.
If we forget our Lord, and walk instead in darkness, we will stumble–in our doings, in our minds, in our lives, and in our faith. “If a blind person leads a blind person, both will fall into a pit” (Mt. 15:14). We all need guidance; we should accept that which is offered by God, which will allow us to see–and not allow ourselves to be lead astray by guidance that will make us blind.
Remember, Jesus is also “the way;” but if we are blind, we cannot see the way. We must always remember to walk in God’s light, so that we may love Him, and so that we may see the way of His path and live in light eternally. If we instead choose to walk in darkness, however, we will not see His way, not know how to love Him, and will likely spend eternity in unending darkness and despair.
Oh yeah, and just a little reminder for us all–Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead in today’s Gospel. From the dead. Don’t ever let the awesomeness of Him and His deeds become old and trite with age. We should always think of them for what they are–not for how many times we’ve heard of them before.
Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you” (Lk 22:19-20).
by Cameron Daly