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While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light. ~ John 12:36a

As we approach Good Friday, Jesus begins to collect and sum up his most important teachings and messages with his followers. In today’s passage from John, he reemphasizes the unique relationship Christians have with death: when a grain of wheat falls to the ground, what appears to be an end is, in fact, just the beginning. He then imparts a message that well applies to our long journey together this Lent: “The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in darkness, you do not know where you are going. While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light.”

This passage encapsulates Jesus’ sense of urgency. Clearly, Jesus is referring to his own time on earth when he says, “The light is with you for a little while longer.” However, I believe his words are paradoxically timeless and universally applicable. In addition to urgency, he speaks of light as a symbol of hope, humanity, love and life—a primordial flame representing humanity’s resilience over the forces of evil in the world.

Our time on earth is brief, and our moments with our loved ones are rare and precious. As Jesus faces his impending crucifixion, he also understands the formidable forces converging on his followers. While we are in the light, we must walk in it, taking steps forward in response to the Gospel’s call, even as we acknowledge the day is growing shorter.

Today’s readings

When you feel like darkness is overcoming you, how can you return to the light?

Think of a particular passage of Scripture, prayer or a hymn that draws you near to Jesus. Say—or sing—it today.

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