“I am the Light of the world.
Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life”
If you take a good look around you at the the world in which you live, you will surely see much that will weigh heavily upon your heart – sometimes, the world seems like such a dark place, and that darkness can seem both powerful and overwhelming. There seems to be an unending succession of terrible events, each one closely following the ones before – mass shootings within schools and colleges; terrorist events in various cities and countries; and a generalised denial and diminishing of the sanctity of life, even to the extent that those sworn to protect and sustain life, seek instead to end it, whether by action or omission.
And yet, no matter how dark the world may seem, still there is Light in the world.
The Psalms remind us – “the Lord is my light and my salvation – whom should I fear?” (Ps.27:1). No matter how dark the world may seem, we have the Lord, who is the Light of the world. And as Saint John the Evangelist tells us, “the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it” (Jn.1:5). We explicitly reminded ourselves of this truth very recently, at the Easter Vigil, during which the Paschal Candle was solemnly lit, it’s sacred light then spreading out to each person in Church. In St.John’s Gospel, the Lord cautions us to “walk while you have the light, so that darkness may not overcome you” (Jn.12:35) – and this is very sage advice. He goes on to tell us – “while you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of the light” (Jn.12:36).
‘Believing in the Light’ is perhaps the salient point here. As Christians, we need to keep our eyes firmly focussed on the One who is the true Light of the world, that light which the world cannot overcome. His divine light enlightens all things. His Divine Providence sees a way forward, a firm plan, even while we cannot see the way. He alone can bring light out of darkness and we must trust firmly in Him.
When dark events cloud the horizons of our vision, it can seem overpowering. Sometimes, it helps to look beyond the events themselves and see instead what is around them. Where a little child fights for life against apparently insurmountable odds, see the vast crowds of people storming Heaven with prayers, obtaining great merit and grace as a result; that grace will do untold good, whether there or elsewhere. And where men kill others in barbaric acts of terrorism, see the selflessness and heroism of those who give their lives for others or who risk everything to do a little good in the face of great evil; see the kindness of strangers, who give expecting nothing in return, who act simply because it is the right thing to do. See the numerous little and hidden ways in which ordinary men and women choose Light above darkness every single day, even when it costs them dearly to do so.
The Image of Divine Mercy is a great reminder of the truth that Light is greater than darkness. In it, the Lord walks towards each and every one of us, radiating divine light and vanquishing the darkness that is all around. He invites us, then, to move towards Him in response to His coming to us. And as we do so, His own light touches us, envelops us, transforms us. And little by little, we shine with that same light.
May the Lord, in whom Mercy is endless, ‘have mercy on us and on the whole world’.