MONDAY, FIFTH WEEK OF LENT
Dn 13:1-9,15-17,19-30,33-62; Ps 23:1-6; Jn 8:12-20
LOOK AT HIM!
This episode in the Gospel occurred during the feast of the Tabernacles (commemorating the period in the wilderness), one of the three main feasts of ancient Jerusalem, (others being the Passover and that of Weeks/Pentecost). The symbolism of light and water were part of the Tabernacles ritual and Jesus uses them to reveal his identity. A ritual of significance was the light ceremony, in which four golden candlesticks were set up in the Court of the Women in the Temple. The light from this event shone throughout the city, as a symbol of God’s presence in the Temple and in Judea. Jesus claims to be the ‘Light’. Though there is a growing hatred against him, he cares only about the proclamation of the word.
Jesus, the Light of the world, came to set us free and did so by sharing the truth with us – the truth of the Father, the Creator; the truth that he is our Redeemer; the truth that the Spirit inhabits our innermost being. St Teresa of Avila reminds us: “If we never look at him or think of what we owe him, and of the death which he suffered for our sakes, I do not see how we can get to know him or do good works in his service”.
As we approach Holy Week, let us ‘look’ at him. This act of adoration, this contemplative glance, opens us to the truth and, if we see well, our hearts will also be opened and will overflow with gratitude. We owe the Lord everything. It is especially in pondering prayerfully the suffering and death of Christ that we will come to realize the horrendous nature of sin and the extravagance of God’s love. If we shun this knowledge of Jesus, we avoid serving him. Ignorance is the greatest tragedy – to live in darkness and not see the Light of the world. Jesus is the light that triumphs over evil, ignorance and our inner darkness. Guided by this light we will not walk in darkness.
Response: Though I should walk in the valley of the shadow of death, no evil would I fear, for you are with me.
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