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5th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Ages 3-6): The Light of the World

(Adults, you could begin by lighting a candle and reading the Word of God to your child. Alternatively, you could read the first paragraph of the reflection, then proclaim the Word, then return to the reflection.)



In the Gospel for this Sunday, Jesus speaks about light. We know a lot about light. The light of a candle is beautiful. It catches our attention. We like to watch the flame. The light helps us to see. What does Jesus want us to know about light?


Jesus says,

You are the light of the world.

Who?

You are the light of the world.

Us?

How can we be light?

Do we catch people's attention? Do we help people to see? Are we beautiful?


Oh, yes.

But why? Why are we the light of the world?


Elsewhere in the Word of God, we hear Jesus tell us:


I AM the Light of the World. (John 8:12)


So, who is the light after all? Jesus or us?

Or both?

Is it the same? Do we have the same light as Jesus?


Let's think about the light of Jesus.


Long before Jesus is born in Bethlehem, God prepared the people for his coming. The prophet Isaiah told everyone,


The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. (Isaiah 9:2)


People walking in darkness might go the wrong way. They might get hurt. Light helps them know the way to go and to stay safe. Light helps everyone to see.


When Jesus is born in Bethlehem, the light comes into the world. His light helps everyone know the way to go and stay safe. His light helps everyone to see. He is the Light of the World.

We know that the day comes when Jesus dies on the cross and all the people think that the Light of the World has gone out forever. But they are wrong. God fills Jesus with Risen life, life that can never end in death. The Light of his Risen life can never go out.

That is why we light the biggest candle in the church—to show that we know that the Light of Jesus' Risen Life is stronger than death. The strongest.


Jesus does not want to keep that Light to himself. He says,

You are the light of the world.

At our Baptism, when we are washed with the water filled with the Holy Spirit, we are given a candle lit from the biggest candle in the church. The priest says,


Receive the light of Christ.


Where do we keep this light? Our candle is no longer lit. It is probably in a box in a cupboard somewhere. Have we lost that light?


Of course not. We carry it within us. We know this. Sometimes, when we listen to the Word of God, we can feel that light inside us, burning brightly. Perhaps, at these moments, our light really shines. Perhaps it shines at other moments, too. We will have to wonder about that.

Photo by Mike Labrum on Unsplash

From one Light, so many lights. Each one of us who is baptized, carries this light into the world. The light grows and grows! So beautiful. Together we are the light of the World.

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