For whatever reason, my garage’s light switch is in the kitchen. While in the garage one night, running on my treadmill, someone accidentally flipped off the lights. For a few scary moments, I found myself in complete darkness, running fast, but going absolutely nowhere.
My experience is a metaphor, I think, for how many people live their lives today: they run around like crazy, but their lives have no real purpose or direction. Kind of like running on a treadmill, in the dark.
Jesus, in today’s gospel, said that he didn’t want people to "remain in darkness." That’s why "he came into the world as light." By believing in Jesus, we know what life is about, and we know the direction in which our lives should go, because Jesus lights the way. With Jesus, our lives have purpose, peace, and hope.
Living in darkness can be frightening. My children sometimes admit that they’re a little afraid of the dark, and I completely understand. They prefer to sleep with a light on. Jesus invites us to do the same thing: to keep the light on- his light- to scatter the fear that darkness brings.
As Pope Benedict assures us: "(Christ’s) light will dispel all darkness from your lives, and fill you with love and peace."