In today’s gospel reading from John, we are reminded of that famous line that we see on signs and placards from John 3:16: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” Further in today’s reading from John, we read that Jesus came as light into the world, not to condemn it, but to save it.
Today also is the 15th anniversary of my mother’s death. When she died, I was told that, on that cold, gray, wintry day, a light came through the part in the curtains and landed on my mother shortly after she died. It was a sign to all present that she has passed over and was in the hands of God.
Even though this day took on an element of darkness and sadness for me 15 years ago, today it becomes a day of light and peace. It is a day of remembering the light that my mom was for my family and for me. Her presence, her Italian heritage, her giftedness, and her maternal love are all reminders of how God’s love and light come into our world.
Light has a way of dispelling our darkness. But, it also has a way of permeating our darkness and showing us what resides in the dark corners of our minds and hearts. Sometimes, that God-like and mother-like light and love are necessary for us to see what is there in our darkness. The ways that we might be thinking of others and ourselves. The ways that we have treated others and ourselves. They shine this light not to condemn us, but to help us, redeem us, show us a new way of being.
I am choosing to prefer the light of God and of my mom today. A light that shines brightly and shows me the way of goodness, of giving of self, of being a presence of light in my little part of the world today. That light may show me my scars and warts, but it also shows me a much bigger picture of who I am - a God who shows me who I truly am, and a mother who shows me how to live who I am. Both created me. Both call me to authenticy. All while shining a bright light of love in my life today. Gratitude is my guiding light today, and I’m gonna let it shine!