BIBLE: An Inner Light by Brother Roger of Taizé

Reflecting on the Bible in Silence and Song

An Inner Light by Brother Roger of Taizé

From Seeds of Trust

John wrote: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being.  What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.  There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.  He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him.  He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.  The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.  He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him.  He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him.  But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God. (John 1:1-12)

To introduce his gospel, Saint John confronts us right from the start with the mystery of Christ, presenting him as he will reveal himself in fullness after his resurrection.  Jesus manifests himself as the light of the world.  Light is something that on the one hand is very powerful (we can think of those rays of light that take billions of years to reach us) but at the same time incredibly fragile, because to block the light all we have to do is to put our hands in front of our eyes.  Light and darkness can easily coexist.  Light cannot force darkness, but all it takes is the smallest opening for light to be diffused throughout a room.

This light gives life.  Not only does it provide warmth and enable us to find our way, but also it situates us in the midst of creation and allows us to discover who God is.  Welcoming it means entering the reality of God’s life and love, which, in the Resurrection, will show themselves to be stronger than hatred and refusal.  Welcoming it also means changing our outlook – no longer wishing to be our own light, no longer wishing at all costs to transform resistances and blind spots by our own powers, but letting in the light that gives new life to what seemed to have become hardened.

We should not be afraid of this call, which seems so demanding – to be a witness to the light, as John the Baptist was, to be ourselves the light of the world, as Jesus invites us to be (see Matthew 5:14).  It is not our strength that can achieve this; we need simply to let a reflection of God’s love shine through us and radiate outward in the midst of those who are unaware of it.

  • What gospel text helps me understand that Christ is light?
  • When I am frightened by darkness, what enables me to realize that Christ’s light is near?

God of every human being, you never impose yourself, you never force our heart, but you place your peaceful light within each one of us.

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