God’s first task when the world was created was to make the light. God knew that before anything else could happen is that the world would need light. Without light, no life could exist, no one could see and we would all stumble through the darkness.
In the first reading today, Isaiah is offering hope to a people that felt hopeless. The Israelites had felt the wrath of the Assyrian military, starting with the lands of Zebulun and Naphtali. Things looked dark, very dark. But Isaiah brings the people a message of hope. He says:
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shown.”
God’s message to the Israelites through Isaiah is that He has not forgotten them and that He will once again bring light into their lives. God makes the same promise to each and every one of us; that He will never leave us in darkness.
In the Gospel today, we see Jesus putting that plan into action. Jesus fulfills the prophecy that the Messiah would come from Galilee as he begins his public ministry by choosing his first disciples.
But, more importantly, we see how God has done exactly what Isaiah said would happen. A great light – Jesus - has filled the world for 2000 years, and that is good news for all of us. At times, we all feel like we live in a land of gloom, that we are walking in darkness. When we feel that way, we need to remind ourselves that we are never alone and that we do not need to live in gloom or darkness. We need to remind ourselves that God wants us to live in the light. From the first moment of creation that was God’s plan, and by giving us His son, He assured us that we would always be able to live in the light; that we would never be alone.
God has given us the light; it’s up to us to find the light, to live in the light, to choose the light over darkness. As we see in the Gospel today, Simon, Andrew, James and John took a risk. Jesus asked them to follow the light and they did. Because of the choice they made, world has never been the same. In the same way, Jesus is there for us; all we have to do is follow His light!