Friday, December 28, 2012
1 John 1:5-7: God is Light
5 Now this is the message that we have heard from him and proclaim to you: God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say, “We have fellowship with him,” while we continue to walk in darkness, we lie and do not act in truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:5-7)
The above verses from St. John’s epistle jumped out at me both when I read them and when my pastor later proclaimed them during Mass.
During my fallen-away years (there are twenty-eight of them), I went around occasionally thinking and, if asked, professing that I had faith in Jesus Christ. My actions, however, spoke differently. I did not attend Mass, was reluctant to raise my kids in the faith, and after trying to seek out protestant denominations that fit my perception of the truth, failed to consider seeking God at all. My thoughts and actions reflected that I could do life on my own. If I were a good dad and husband, I thought, and I passively believed in Jesus, then that was good enough. I tried hard as a father and husband, was mostly honest in my day-to-day dealings with people, and worked diligently at my occupation. Why wasn’t that walking in the light of Christ’s fellowship? Upon reflection, however, my "sometimes honesty" was really situationally advantageous dishonesty, my hard work as a teacher and father was falsely attributed to self achievement, and my being a good husband was more on terms of service to self than cherishing and serving my wife. Certain material items became my focus, desire, and obsession, leading to an emptiness that could not be filled or satisfied. I was blinded by my own poor choices and refusals of God’s invitation to faith and love. I walked in darkness and refused to act in truth.
I am so thankful that Jesus Christ has given me the eyes to see that fellowship is more than empty words. Fellowship with God begins as a proclamation of faith in Jesus. That proclamation, moreover, is fulfilled by acts of love. Fellowship is following Christ’s teaching, love, and self-sacrifice by radiating that truth to the world. It is bearing the cross of discipleship, giving myself for the love of others, and living the truth as revealed by Jesus. Fellowship is loving God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. Fellowship is loving my neighbor as I love myself for the love of Jesus. It is choosing to walk in Jesus’ light, and walking is taking my faith and putting it into loving action.
I pray that we all act in accordance with God’s love and always walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. May God bless you. Let us remember to always walk in the light.