Memorial of Thomas Becket
The first letter of John today encourages us to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. The theme of light and darkness impacts our ability to walk just as he walked.
Many words have been spoken this week about the Light of Christ coming into our world. We have experienced the light of family, gifts, and liturgical celebrations, which help us to appreciate the light around and within us. And still, the darkness persists. We are bombarded with hatred from many sides — racial and ethnic prejudice, gun violence, ongoing wars, and divisive ideologies that overflow into family gatherings. Sometimes, it is hard to see the light and respond with love.
The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple shows the interplay between light and darkness. Simeon, who spent his life walking the walk of faith and trust in God, encounters Mary and Joseph. Holding the child Jesus, he sees the light for which he waited. Turning to Mary, he speaks of the sword of darkness she will experience.
Thomas Beckett also knew the interplay of light and darkness. He faced a choice between his faith and his duties to Henry II in England. His fidelity to walking the walk of faith led to his martyrdom. Integrity can be a costly virtue.
Simeon held the child Jesus in his arms and recognized the One who is the light that will overcome the darkness. Every time we approach the altar and open our hands to receive the Bread of Life, we hold Christ. The words of John echo here: whoever claims to abide in him ought to walk just as he walked. Our amen is our affirmation that we will live what we believe and become what we receive.
How will I walk the walk today?
Let us pray:
Blessed are you, Mary exalted Daughter of Sion! You are highly favored and full of grace, for the Spirit of God descended upon you. We magnify the Lord and rejoice with you for the gift of the Word made flesh, bread of life, and cup of joy. Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, our model of prayer in the Cenacle, pray for us that we may become what we receive, the body of Christ your Son. Amen.