The Light of the World

Why do we like the Summer Season? What makes summer holidays so special?

The warm presence and rays of the sun bring us more hours of daylight, hotter temperatures and we see all of creation in another light. Our bodies respond well to this light and warmth. Our attitude and spirit tend to improve; we become more positive as we progress through this summer season. This proves that we need the sun. It is difficult, in fact impossible, to live without it.

For this reason our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ – Who is the source of all light and of all goodness – is referred to as ‘The Light of the World.’ (John 8:12) In the Gospel according to John, we are told ‘He who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’

Christ then offers us, at all times throughout the year, at all stages of our lives, this warmth, assurance, and the joyful light which never fades. The same holy light that we receive on the day of the resurrection, that fills our hearts with His comfort and assurance that all evil and death has been defeated, is offered to each of us. This eternal light is experienced through our efforts to grow closer to Him, through our contemplation on His love, through our efforts to love and forgive our neighbours, and importantly through our personal prayer and participation in the beautiful services of the Church; remaining humble and faithful to His commandments.

We all make up Christ’s body. As members of His Body (the Church) we are in Him and He is in us through our Baptism and through receiving His Holy Communion. If Christ is the light of the world, then we, as members of His body, and through His grace, also become the light of the world:

‘The Lord said to his disciples ‘You are the light of the world…Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.’ (Sunday’s Gospel Reading)

From this short section of Sunday’s Gospel reading alone, we can learn a lot about our Christian faith:
We are indeed (though unworthily so) the light of the world. We are called to 1) share His light with those around us; 2) to remain in His light and see His light in everything and everyone, thus not dwell on the evil or negativity that often surrounds us, but the light of Christ that can defeat anything in our way and finally 3) to pray unceasingly, without end, for the whole world.

Christ being the Light of the world, as revealed to us at the Transfiguration of our Lord (Matt 17:1-8) emphasises the Lord’s Divinity, His eternal radiance and glory. Simultaneously it reminds us of our own call of transformation, of transfiguration, of change and renewal. Like the Prophet Elias, who we commemorated on Monday, let us be flames of faith in God in a world of injustice and uncertainty. If we are united with, and place our hope in Christ in this life we will be with Him ‘where the light of His countenance forever shines’ in eternity.

Through the light and warmth of Christ let us become Christophoroi, Christ-bearers, through our humble presence and works, this summer.

Wishing you all a blessed Summer Season.

This coming Sunday (the 26th July) marks our last Online Sunday School; please do encourage each other to join as we discuss the significance of the Orthodox Church Building, in addition to answering the personal questions we have asked you to prepare. Following the Summer Break in August we will commence a new online program dedicated to our young people. Please see the Archdiocesan website to be informed about relevant updates and initiatives.