Light in the Lord
GOD'S WORD TODAY - Jonjee C. Sumpaico SJ (The Philippine Star) - March 30, 2014 - 12:00am

The school year has ended and it is that time of the year when we have to take stock of what has been and what we are thankful for. For as we look back, it enables us to chart our directions towards the future.

We also find ourselves at a time when we have to continue to look into our hearts during this season of Lent and get to know more of our true selves before God and his people. For in remembering, we make present once again the many experiences that our hearts remember. And when our hearts do remember, it shares of that great attitude of GRATITUDE.

There are a lot of reasons to be grateful for. Perhaps I can name one that amazes me right now.

I remember that just a few days ago, I bade farewell to a graduating high school batch that pioneered the TulongDunong Program at Cagayan de Oro. It is a program where our 4th year high school students would do tutorials in English and Math to Grade 6 students from different public elementary schools across the city.

As they were the first group to try the program, there were apprehensions and fears in the beginning. Will they get along? What will be done? How will things turn out? The only thing clear was WHY we were engaging the program.

It was clear that the blessings that have been experienced were also meant to be shared. In being grateful, the students were also able to see that they themselves grew as they gave of themselves. They became more industrious, more generous, and even more deliberate in their ways.

I also remember some of their parents tell me a lot of things to prove this:

“Father, I do not need to force my child to study anymore. He studies on his own.”

“I was totally surprised when I saw my child busy constructing a lesson plan for her tutorial session.”

“My boy is now doing what I did in college during my time. I am very proud of him.”

Such good work amazes. Such good work inspires. Such good work reminds us to keep humble and put our feet on the ground and count our blessings. It reminds us who we are and where we are – Light in the Lord.

The graduation speaker, who was himself a former tutor like the students, even challenged the whole batch to continue know one’s self even more, by continuing to search for that meaning and purpose in their lives.

“Mgamahalkongkuya at ate, kung hindininyomakitasapag-aaralninyo kung paano kayo mabubuo at magigingganapnatao, mag-ingatlamang. Mahirapharapinangmapaghamongmundokung di molubosnakilalaangiyongsarili. (Mgamahalnakogkuyaug ate, kungdilininyomakit-an sainyongpagtuon kung unsaonmabuoan at mahimogganapanginyongpagkatao, pag-andam lang. Lisudatubangonangmahagitongngakalibutan kung dilikakailasaimongkaugalingonngamaayo.)”

As we read of the Gospel reading of today and how Jesus cured the blind man, we are given the images of light and darkness. Jesus did not cure the man right away. He asked the man to exert effort and follow his instructions. In doing so, the blind was able to see who he was, the blessing that he received and make a stronger conviction on what he believe in.

Just like the blind man, we do have our blind sides and blind spots. In our moments of darkness, we are not able to see our true selves. We become bound in the darkness as shame, guilt, or even fear gets the best of us. One cannot be truly free in this sense as one lives a life of hiding. For in darkness, one cannot even see one’s very self.

What Jesus offers the blind man may be the same gift that he offers to us as we desire to live in His Light. We know that we are not perfect. We know that we may also fall at times. But in living in Christ’s light, we begin to disclose in our lives to God, to others, and to ourselves. We allow Jesus to give light and be part of our lives as he restores us in His love and grace.

Living in Christ’s light may be a growing experience of seeing one’s self. It may be a discovery of seeing our faults and even pointing out some of our disordered behavior. It may come out as an encounter that we are not as bad as what we thought of ourselves to be. It may be a breakthrough which challenges us to push the boundaries of our comfort zones and move to the areas of greater need in our lives.

And when one knows that he is much loved and blessed no matter what the circumstances will be, his heart also understands that courageous love stems from a grateful heart. As we have been given the grace of having Christ’s light, so we are also moved to share Christ’s light as well.

Step out of darkness. You are light in the Lord. Let your light shine.

There is much reason to be grateful and rejoice.

(Postnote: After their own graduation, I was even overjoyed to see our new graduates attend the graduation of their own Grade 6 tutees. With no grades or incentives given, they continued to be motivated to give of their presence. In some of  their Facebook posts, I saw the pictures of their joyful smiles – tutors and tutees. In God’s grace, we must have done something good.)

 

 

BLIND ENGLISH AND MATH EVEN HIS LIGHT IN GOD LIGHT LORD. LET ONE PERHAPS I WHAT JESUS
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