He is the Light of the World
Scripture Readings for Today
I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.
And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.
And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
The following excerpt from St. Augustine’s treatise on the Gospel of John (Tract. 34, 8-9; CCL 36, 315-316) is used in the Roman Office of Readings for the 4th Sunday in Lent. The corresponding biblical reading is Leviticus 8:1-17; 9:22-24) Source
The Lord tells us: I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. In these few words he gives a command and makes a promise. Let us do what he commands so that we may not blush to covet what he promises and to hear him say on the day of judgement: “I laid down certain conditions for obtaining my promises. Have you fulfilled them?” If you say: “What did you command, Lord our God?” he will tell you: “I commanded you to follow me. You asked for advice on how to enter into life. What life, if not the life about which it is written: With you is the fountain of life?”
Let us do now what he commands. Let us follow in the footsteps of the Lord. Let us throw off the chains that prevent us from following him. Who can throw off these shackles without the aid of the one addressed in these words: You have broken my chains? Another psalm says of him: The Lord frees those in chains, the Lord raises up the downcast.
Those who have been freed and raised up follow the light. The light they follow speaks to them: I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness. The Lord gives light to the blind. Brethren, that light shines on us now, for we have had our eyes anointed with the eye-salve of faith. His saliva was mixed with earth to anoint the man born blind. We are of Adam’s stock, blind from our birth; we need him to give us light. He mixed saliva with earth, and so it was prophesied: Truth has sprung up from the earth. He himself has said: I am the way, the truth and the life.
We shall be in possession of the truth when we see face to face. This is his promise to us. Who would dare to hope for something that God in his goodness did not choose to promise or bestow?
We shall see face to face. The Apostle says: Now I know in part, now obscurely through a mirror, but then face to face. John the Apostle says in one of his letters: Dearly beloved, we are now children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be. We know that when he is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. This is a great promise.
If you love me, follow me. “I do love you”, you protest, “but how do I follow you?” If the Lord your God said to you: “I am the truth and the life”, in your desire for truth, in your love for life, you would certainly ask him to show you the way to reach them. You would say to yourself: “Truth is a great reality, life is a great reality; if only it were possible for my soul to find them!”
Hymn for Today
Eternal Beam of Light Divine
Words: Charles Wesley, Hymns and Sacred Poems, 1739.
Music: Angels’ Song, Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625)
Eternal Beam of light divine,
Fountain of unexhausted love,
In Whom the Father’s glories shine
Through earth beneath, and Heaven above;
Jesu, the weary wanderer’s rest,
Give me Thy easy yoke to bear,
With steadfast patience arm my breast,
With spotless love, and lowly fear.
Thankful I take the cup from Thee,
Prepared and mingled by Thy skill,
Though bitter to the taste it be,
Powerful the wounded soul to heal.
Be Thou, O Rock of ages, nigh!
So shall each murmuring thought be gone,
And grief, and fear, and care, shall fly,
As clouds before the mid-day sun.
Speak to my warring passions, “Peace!”
Say to my trembling heart, “Be still!”
Thy power my strength and fortress is,
For all things serve Thy sovereign will.
O death! where is thy sting? Where now
Thy boasted victory, O grave?
Who shall contend with God? or who
Can hurt whom God delights to save?
December 1 – The Word Became Flesh
December 2 – Prepare the way for the LORD
December 3 – He is First and Last
December 4 – He is the Eternal God
December 5- He Created All Things
December 6 – He is King of Kings
December 7 – He is Emmanuel – God with Us
December 8 – The Humanity of Christ
December 9 – The Ancestry of Christ
December 10 – Christ’s Birth
December 11 – His Death on the Cross
December 12 – His Resurrection
December 13 – Messianic Psalms
December 14 – Messianic Psalms
December 15 – Simeon’s Song
December 16 – He came to forgive our sin