'I Am the Light of the World'
Readings: Dan 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62
or 13:41-62; Jn 8:12-20
But Suzanna cried aloud: "O eternal God, You know what is hidden ... You know that they have testified falsely against me." Dan 13:42
You're going on trial. Your life is at stake. Who would you rather have as your judge: the two scheming elders from Daniel 13 or Jesus? Now imagine that you're at someone else's trial. Whose testimony would you believe? The Pharisees were experts on the Scriptures and would have known about these two false witnesses. Isn't it strange that they don't accept Jesus' testimony because they require another as well? Isn't it strange that they don't recognize the truth in Jesus' claim to be the "Light of the World"?
Man cannot truly understand what is good or evil without illumination from God through His commands. (See Ps 19:8.) Light vs. darkness is a common biblical metaphor for the righteousness of God and the wickedness of man. (The word "light" is used over 200 times in Scripture.)
Today's reading from John takes the next step with Jesus' bold comments at the temple treasury. Here, Jesus makes "I AM" statements, identifying Himself with Yahweh of the Old Testament. He declares, "I am the Light of the World. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life" (v. 12).
His assertion is all the more impressive because of where He makes it. Jesus speaks in the part of the temple where great lampstands symbolize the pillar of fire that led the people of Israel through the desert (see Ex 13:21, 22). That pillar of fire, as the Pharisees know, represented God's presence, protection, and guidance.
For us, Jesus is the pillar that guides us. Let's turn away from darkness in our lives and follow Him.
Lord, help me not to judge only by appearances, but to see things through the light of Your love and mercy. Amen.
Diary of St. Faustina
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