The Light of Christ
Second Sunday of Ordinary Time
January 18, 2015
John 1:35-42

Last Sunday, January 11, 2015, led by rulers from nations around the world, well over a million people marched through the streets of Paris, France. The demonstration was in response to the terror attacks in that capitol city often referred to as the City of Lights. The tone of this massive rally was almost entirely secular…even the gathering in the Grand Synagogue. Many of those participating in this massive demonstration held an ordinary ballpoint pen up in the air. This was a symbolic response to the brutal murders of the publishers of a relatively unknown magazine. The gesture communicated the statement: “The pen is mightier than the sword.” That was very much the theme of the day…free speech and the power of the press.

While the demonstration of unity was impressive, the most powerful response to evil was markedly absent…PRAYER! Prayer is the most powerful weapon with which to defeat terrorists! Certainly, the press, editorials, speeches, propaganda, and, most recently and most effectively, social media might influence people’s minds and actions, but only The Word of God has the power to change the world.

At the core of this week’s Second Reading is a truth that the modern world seems to have forgotten or simply chooses to ignore: WE ALL BELONG TO GOD! Our bodies are entrusted to us by God, who has a plan for each of us to follow. If we respond to God’s plan for us, then we can live in harmony and peace. But in order to know what God is asking of us as individuals, as families, as Church, as a nation…as humankind…we have to do as Samuel in our First Reading. We have to listen and then respond. If we are to truly know what God is asking of us, we must do as Andrew and his friend did in the Gospel. We have to be willing to learn. We have to spend time with The Word of God, as they spent the day with Jesus.

“The pen” is only as powerful as the word it reports. Today’s Gospel reports one of Jesus’s most powerful words: COME! Come and see! Come and learn! Come and serve. The only fitting and proper response to that invitation from the Lord was spoken by Samuel many centuries ago: SPEAK, LORD, I HAVE COME…COME TO DO YOUR WILL!

The will of God is that we should live in peace! And each of is called to help bring that peace…the Peace of Christ… into the world. God intends more for us than to live in a “city of lights” that depends on electricity in order to defeat darkness. It is God’s will and God’s plan that we should all live in The Heavenly Jerusalem…the city illuminated by the eternal glory of God…the city that will never be the target of terror or violence or injustice…the city where all freedom is in Christ and all power comes from the Eternal Word…the city that will never grow dark.

So COME! Live in the Light…The Light of Christ!