In today’s Gospel reading (John 12:20-36), Jesus told his disciples: “Believe in the light so that you may become children of light.” Jesus spoke these words at a time when his own soul was troubled. He understood what was to come – the suffering that was about to unfold, paving the way for the salvation of the world.
As we find a way to live in the midst of a global pandemic, we journey into a Holy Week unlike any other we have experienced in our lifetimes. Jesus’ words and experience become more relevant, more palpable than ever before. Wherever we may find ourselves — disrupted lives and obliterated routines — our expectations have been altered. We must walk in new ways – sometimes with strength, sometimes with resistance and anger — and at moments stumbling gloriously as we strive to do the next right thing while accommodating grief and anxiety.
We must give ourselves and those around us a measure of grace. We have no point of reference for what we are experiencing. Beyond listening to sound medical advice and careful social practices that honor the welfare of the entire community, we are reinventing how to live our lives, one day at a time.
We must choose to walk in the light. We must choose to walk with the One who created us all and to trust in the light that casts out darkness. He is with each one of us: the strong, the healthy, the resilient in our midst — and with those who are suffering, those who risk their lives to care for the sick, to put food on the table. And he is at the bedside of those who are dying.
We must choose to be children of light. For the light which came into the world – the one true Light – can never be extinguished and will never forsake us.