FROM ST. AUGUSTINE SPIRITUALITY CENTER
Sister Rosemarie Goins, CSSF
Last week the wonderful image of “living water” was used in the Sunday readings about the “Samaritan Woman at the Well.” This week the image of “light of life” is shared by Jesus, as well as, another revelation that he is fully human, as well as, divine.
Already in the Old Testament, 1 Samuel 16: 1, 6-7, 10-13, God was preparing the royal ancestry of Jesus with the anointing of David, as a king. Being of the House of David, Jesus, by right, was an heir to the throne. What has this reading have to do with “light?” The prophesy about the Messiah, the Christ was the great “shout” of the Old Testament. As a descendant of David upon whom “the spirit of the Lord rushed,” Jesus fully revealed his “oneness” with the Holy Spirit, who brings the “light of life.” “I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the “light of life.” John 8:12
St. Paul expounds upon the gift of “light in the Lord…which produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth.” Ephesians 5: 8-14 The image of “light” must have been a strong one in the early Christian church, since Paul spends time in explaining it ramifications.
In John 9: 1-41 the story of the “Man Born Blind” illustrates the value of both seeing spiritually, as well as, physically. Jesus restores the sight of the man, but the Pharisees latch onto a “healing on the Sabbath,” as a violation of the Sabbath. Their blindness to the miracle and the joy of restored sight, lead them to reject the very purpose and meaning of the Sabbath and Jesus’ authority to heal. Jesus not only heals the man physically, but he reveals himself as the “Son of Man.” The term is used some eighty-eight times. Jesus wanted to make clear that he was human, as well as, divine. Daniel 7 refers to the term as the one who is the exalted heavenly one. Christianity.com The blind man’s faith in Jesus’ pronouncement, “I am the Son of Man,” reveals that he sees Jesus as both human and divine, “I do believe, LORD.”
A meaningful practice for this week of Lent is the daily recitation of the Responsorial Psalm 23, “The LORD is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want…” We can rest peacefully in Jesus’ arms, just as the little lamb who has been rescued and gazes with love at the shepherd.” Remember in the New Testament, John 10, Jesus claims to be the Good Shepherd, the LORD – clear reference to his being God. This is why the Jews tried to stone him for saying, “I am the Good Shepherd.”
Today, called Laetare Sunday, we can “sneak” a little rejoicing into our time of penance that we will soon celebrate the great mystery of salvation in Holy Week and the Easter season. You will see the celebrant of Mass dressed in rose/pink, instead of purple. So, rejoice in the Lord and embrace the “light of life.”
Sister Rosemarie Goins, CSSF