In last week’s gospel reading Jesus told his persecutors that he could raise God’s fallen temple in three days. Of course he was referring to his own body. The message this week is that we are all houses of God, and as creatures of light we are called to be lighthouses, beckoning others to add their light to ours.
God created us to shine. Darkness was the one thing God didn’t create. That was created by the devil, with a little help from those original sinners, Adam and Eve. But as Jesus tells Nicodemus in this Sunday’s gospel reading (JN 3:14-21), he came into the world so God’s children could once again bask in each other’s light.
“The light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light,” Jesus says, “because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.”
In our second reading (EPH 2:4-10), Paul echoes that theme of our predestined role as lighthouses in his letter to the Ephesians. Before we were born, God had our jobs ready and waiting for us.
“For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them,” he writes.
Our first reading from Chronicles (2 CHR 36:14-16, 19-23) offers another example of how evil forces in man’s early history tried extinguishing the potential energy that would eventually become the light of God’s children. Cyrus, King of Persia, tells of his mission to build a house from which that light could shine forth.
“The LORD, the God of heaven, has charged me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever, therefore, among you belongs to any part of his people, let him go up, and may his God be with him!”
As creatures of light we reveal the word of God for others so they can be energized and add to the light. God is not an invisible man, as atheists preach; he is in our face every day. As Pope Francis writes in his “Joy of the Gospel,” “We do not blindly seek God or wait for Him to speak to us first, for God has already spoken and there is nothing further we need to know which has not been revealed to us. Let us receive the sublime treasure of the revealed word.”
Then let your light reveal it for others.