I have a deep affection for the autumn season. The brisk evening air during fall is ideal for gathering around a fire, enjoying a drink and, if outdoors, gazing up at the stars. It’s in these moments that I often find myself contemplating the sheer vastness of the universe. How many millions of years did it take for that radiant light to reach my eyes? Reflecting on the vastness of the universe can sometimes make my own existence seem very small, at least by some measures. However, a different perspective is offered by Jesus.
The opening of the Gospel of John beautifully describes Jesus: “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 to be through Him, and without Him, nothing came to be. What came to be through Him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:1-5).
That part about the darkness not overcoming the light — I absolutely love that. Two million light years of distance can’t thwart the radiance of light. Some astronomy enthusiasts might bring up black holes, claiming they swallow light. But here’s the simple truth: Death is the black hole that engulfs the light of God within each of us. Through His victory, Jesus conquered the darkness of death and now invites us to radiate the new life we’ve received in Him. You are called to be a light in the darkness. You are called to be a saint.
Like a brilliantly shining star in the vast universe, we are called to emit a profound and enduring light that inspires and guides others. As disciples of Jesus, we embody Gospel virtues of faith, hope and love, and like stars, we can illuminate the lives of those around us.
The Communion of Saints, like stars, act as beacons of hope and inspiration, offering guidance and solace in the person of Jesus to those navigating the dark and challenging paths of life. Like the variety of stars in the cosmos, saints exhibit diverse qualities, backgrounds and spiritual journeys, affirming that everyone, regardless of his or her background, can become a saint who radiates Christ to others.
Just as stars can radiate for millions of years, with their light crossing vast distances, the legacies of the saints endure through the ages, impacting future generations. Their teachings and examples provide enduring guidance and encouragement to individuals seeking spiritual growth and moral direction.
So, when we gaze at the night sky, we not only ponder the vastness of the universe but also the boundless love of God shining in the darkness. The saints who’ve come before us have illuminated our human experiences in the light of the Gospel. And remember, one day, someone may find themselves lost in the darkness, and it’s your light, rooted in Christ, that will lead them home.