There are so many different images used in scripture to describe Christ, “Christ the good shepherd”, “Christ the gate”, “Christ the head of the Church”, and each one represents Christ in a different way. The one I’ve been reflecting on a lot lately is Christ the light; “Again Jesus spoke to them saying ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life’”, John 8:12 Lately I have realised the importance of allowing this light to penetrate every part of our lives, that in order for us to become saints and grow in holiness it requires us to live in this light always. This means being able to bring to Christ even the things we are most ashamed of, and we can do this with confidence knowing that he will continue to love us, and that we can receive his merciful love even more fully by allowing him to work in these parts of our lives.
Why is it important to live in this light of Christ?
The light of Christ brings healing. We all have different areas of lives where we struggle, where we are weak, or where we have been hurt. It’s easy for us to ignore these things or just let them remain in the darkness, but it’s not until they are brought into the light that we are able to receive Christs healing. “Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you, and eat with you, and you with me.” God knows everything, he knows where we are hurting and he knows where we need him the most, although he would never impose himself on us or force his way into any part of our lives, it requires an invitation on our part. But when we let him in we are able to experience his healing, to know his unconditional love for us, and know who we are as a beloved child of his.
The light of Christ has a purifying effect. “But if we live our lives in the light, as he is in the light, we are in union with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his son, purifies us from all sin” John 1:7. As Catholics we believe that before entering Heaven there is a state of “Purgatory” ,which is a place of purification. It is here that we are able to experience Christ in a way that we aren’t able to whilst we are living our earthly lives. When we experience Christ in this way, the temptations and impurities we are faced with are washed away, through the power of this love.
In a similar way, When we let Christ into our lives and experience his light we can’t help but begin to fall in love with him, and through knowing and loving Christ the temptations within us which are disordered become slowly re-ordered towards Him.
By knowing and following Christ, we become a beacon of light for others; “You are the light of the world…your light must shine in the sight of men, so that, seeing your good works, they may give the praise to your Father in Heaven” Matt 5:14-16. How amazing is it knowing that God is able to work through us in order to reach others? and sometimes just by living as a disciple of Christ, others are able to come to know him! An example of this is St. Peter in the acts of the apostles. Because of Peter’s Faith Christ is able to do amazing works through him, and one of these works is when Peter sees the lame man sitting at the temple entrance begging for money. Peter has no money to give to this man, but he says ‘I have neither silver nor gold, but I will give you what I have, in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, walk!’ A miracle takes place, the man gets up and is walking and jumping and praising God. Through Peters faith and his actions, this man who is no longer lame has come to know Christ, along with many others that day who were there as witnesses. Peter is such a good example of someone who was a light to the world, and we are able to follow in his footsteps, and be a source of this light to others.
Christ has a power that goes beyond human understanding, and he is the one thing that gives me hope, and the ability to get through things which I may not be able to otherwise. To live in the light of Christ only requires a choice on our part, to be open to receiving him and knowing and loving him, and I can confidently say that there is no better decision I have made in my life!