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Gratitude and Grappling

Gratitude

Peripateo– to walk, to make one’s way, to make progress, to make a due use of opportunities

Voices from the crowd answered, “We heard from God’s Law that the Messiah lasts forever. How can it be necessary, as you put it, that the Son of Man ‘be lifted up’? Who is this ‘Son of Man’?” Jesus said, “For a brief time still, the light is among you. Walk by the light you have so darkness doesn’t destroy you. If you walk in darkness, you don’t know where you’re going. As you have the light, believe in the light. Then the light will be within you, and shining through your lives. You’ll be children of light” (John 12:34-36a).

Jesus seems to ignore the crowd’s question about his identity, preferring to emphasize his important invitation and warning. Jesus is the light that will draw all people to himself. This text continues to breathe life and truth after 2000 years. These crowds and disciples saw and experienced Jesus, told others, lived differently, continued to tell his story and to walk in a new way. We are the inheritors of his invitation: walk by the light, keep on walking by the light, believe in the light. F. Dale Bruner argues Jesus is saying: “Stick close to my Apostolic community- the faithful Church- where alone this Light is plugged in and shines out and where alone people do, in fact, keep on getting this Light to pass on to others.”

Jesus warns that the darkness can still overwhelm, because the devil’s defeat does not mean the devil’s absence. That is why his church continually prays, “Deliver us from evil.” But his focus is on the invitation to become children of light, or as Bruner says, “children of the Light in the Family of Light.” Today’s disciples need to heed both the invitation and the warning. We must make good use of the opportunity to contain the light of Christ and to be his children. Then we, too, can pass along both the light and Christ’s invitation, while we are able.

How can we, the Grace Family of Light, shine the light of Christ and pass on the light of Christ?