Brothers and sisters, in this Sunday’s Gospel we commemorate the Presentation of our Lord Jesus Christ. I want to focus on that moment when Simeon exclaims that the Child Jesus will be a “light for revelation to the Gentiles.” This should remind us of what we say every night at Compline when we ourselves repeat Simeon’s words “My own eyes have seen the salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of every people: A light to reveal you to the nations.” Jesus Christ is that light who has come not only for the Jews, but the Gentiles as well. We ourselves, as members of Christ’s mystical body, are called to be Jesus to all those we encounter every day. So, the question I want us to ponder today is, How do I become that light? Let me propose three areas that are necessary for us to become a light to the nations.
First, we must be men and women of prayer. I know that some days it can be tough to take a break from the daily grind of life and devote at least some silent time in prayer with our Lord. We are to be conformed so much to the Heart of Jesus, that God Willing, when people encounter us, they encounter Jesus Christ. And so I re-emphasize what a priest told me earlier this year, that we should never let a day go by in which our eyes do not gaze upon the scriptures. Meditation on the Word, is necessary so that we can speak to the world about the person Jesus we claim to know at a Heart to Heart level.
Brothers and sisters, my second point is that our brotherly love is proof of our relationship with the Lord Jesus. About two weeks ago, my Bishop preached that we ought to meditate on those people who have carried us to Jesus Christ. And I bet for most of us, we can think of those people in our own particular lives that have been a light for us to Jesus. This is so, because not only do they know Jesus but they act like Jesus. So, this call to brotherly love is not just towards those whom we love, but also to those brothers and sisters who Drive us up the wall. Balthasar makes this point well, he writes, “this sinner, this unattractive and insignificant person, this avowed opponent of the Church and of Jesus Christ is in reality my brother; Jesus has borne his sins as he has borne mine.” We can never forget that we love Jesus as much as we lover our worst enemy. So, if we are going to be a light to the nations, our love for Christ must be authentic and nourished by the Word. It must call us to action as Batlthasar concludes: “The Christian, in love, should always be the first to act” (Prayer, 216).
Finally, to be another light, that is another Christ, we must let the Holy Spirit radiate through our lives. In both the baptism and transformation, the Holy Spirit shines upon Jesus revealing who he is and his love for the world. And so, let us be confident in the love that Jesus has for us, which is manifest through His Holy Spirit. Our response to this love must be to let it shine for those who have been blinded, by either the world or sin, from the Light.