Pope Francis says the “light” the world offers us is strong — like a firework of a camera flash — but that it is also artificial. The light of Jesus, instead, is mild and quiet, like the light of Christmas night. It is the light of peace.
The Holy Father offered this reflection today at his morning Mass in Casa Santa Marta.
His reflection was drawn from the first reading, from 1 Thessalonians, which states, “For all of you are children of the light and children of the day.”
“Where Jesus is, there is always humility, meekness, and love,” the Pope said, as reported by Vatican Radio.
Christian identity, the Holy Father said, is an identity of light, not of darkness.”
This Light, he observed, is not well-liked by the world. But Jesus came precisely to save us from sin: “His light saves us from the darkness.” On the other hand, he continued, today “one might think that there is the possibility” of having the light “with so many scientific things, and so many of the things of humanity”:
“You can know everything, you can have knowledge of all things and this light on things. But the light of Jesus is something else. It is not a light of ignorance, no! It’s a light of wisdom and sagacity, but it is something other than the light of the world. The light that the world offers us is an artificial light, strong, perhaps (though that of Jesus is stronger, eh!), strong like a firework, like a flash of photography. Instead, the light of Jesus is a mild light, it is a quiet light, it is a light of peace, it’s like the light on Christmas night: without pretense.”
It is, the Pope said, a light that “offers and gives peace.” The light of Jesus, he continued, “doesn’t put on a show. It’s a light that comes into the heart.” However, he warned, “it’s true that many times the devil comes dressed as an angel of light: he likes to imitate Jesus and do good, he speaks to us quietly, as he spoke to Jesus after the fast in the desert.” That’s why we should ask the Lord for “the wisdom of discernment to understand when it is Jesus who gives us the light, and when it is the devil, disguised as an angel of light.”
“How many believe they are living in the light and they are in darkness, but they don’t realize it? What is the light like that Jesus offers us? The light of Jesus can be known because it is a humble light, it is not a light that imposes itself: it is humble. It’s a meek light, with the strength of meekness. It’s a light that speaks to the heart, and also a light that offers you the Cross. If we, in our inner light are meek, if we hear the voice of Jesus in the heart and look on the Cross without fear: that is the light of Jesus.”
But if, on the other hand, a light comes that “makes you arrogant,” he warned, a light that “brings you to look on others from on high” to despise others, “that leads you to pride” – that is not the light of Jesus: it’s the light of the devil, disguised as Jesus, as an angel of light.” The Pope pointed out the way to distinguish the true light from the false: “Wherever Jesus is, there is always humility, meekness, love, and the Cross.” The light of Jesus “is beautiful and does so much good.”
In today’s Gospel, he concluded, Jesus cast out the devil and the people are lost in fear before a word that casts out unclean spirits:
“Jesus doesn’t need an army to cast out the demons, He has no need of pride, no need of force, of arrogance. ‘What is there about His word? For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.’ This is a humble word, meek, with so much love; it is a word that accompanies us in the moments of the Cross. Let us ask the Lord to give us today the grace of His Light, and to teach us to distinguish when the light is from Him, and when it is an artificial light, made by the enemy to deceive us.”
On the Net:
On the news.va web page, http://www.news.va/en/sites/reflections there is a resource that brings together the daily homily translations from L’Osservatore Romano and Vatican Radio along with the video segments of Masses found on YouTube. There is also a collection of L’Osservatore Romano photos of the daily Masses that are updated periodically.