Religion & Spirituality
Bible Study Evangelista - I AM the Light of the World
All the “lights” of the Old Testament symbolized the light of God’s authoritative presence in his Word through the institutional priesthood. Jesus fulfills them all as High Priest and Word of God. By filling the “lights” with the power of salvation, he carries the lampstand forward into the New Testament Church, where Jesus is the center of all the light emanating from the historical, institutional priesthood in the heavenly tabernacle, as we see him in Revelation 1:12-13.
Because God commanded it as part of their duty on his behalf, separating the priesthood from teaching and instruction in the Law would have been unthinkable to the Jewish mind. Certainly, God was not preventing the people from learning, praying, or studying the Law on their own; he was protecting them from doctrinal error and preserving them in unity. The priesthood was the office of authoritative judgment for the people, a way of justice for them. The prophets saw that this would be so in the Messianic Kingdom as well (see Ezekiel 44:23-23). Can you see how a priestly, magisterial body on matters of faith and doctrine was God’s idea? Now as then, they are anointed at ordination with a special discernment charism.
Thank you to my newest Friends of the Show, Gerard O’R and Chris C, for loving and lifting me!
LOVE the Word® is a Bible study method based on Mary’s own practice: lectio without the Latin.
L – Listen (Receive the Word.)
O – Observe (Choose one or more of the following personality approaches to connect the passage to your life and recent events.)
F | Franciscan – Take tour of your home with your eyes closed as though you were blind. What does it mean to you that the light of truth comes to us most fully and completely through the Church?
I | Ignatian – Aside from the historical, Jewish context of “light”, St. John places this I AM statement in the context of Jesus forgiving the adulterous woman in John 8:1-12. Imagine you are present at the scene as one of the would-be stoners. Imagine with all your senses that Jesus has written the Ten Commandments in the dirt before you, and challenged you to throw a stone if you, yourself, have never mortally sinned. What does this mean to you, now: “I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
A | Augustinian – Are there Catholic teachings, either in Tradition or Scripture, that you “don’t agree with”? What has God said to you about Catholic teaching through this show?
T | Thomistic – Spend a few minutes, here, researching light. What correlations can you make between light as temporal and spiritual energy? Do these connections speak you you in any way?
V – Verbalize (Pray about your thoughts and emotions.)
Remembering that He loves you and that you are in His presence, talk to God about the particulars of your O – Observe step. You may want to write your reflections in your LOVE the Word® journal. Or, get a free journal page and guide in the right-hand margin.
E – Entrust (May it be done to me according to your word!)
Jesus, Light of the World, For the many who have followed you today through the darkness of temptation, confusion, depression, sin, doubt, or pain, you are the promise of an eternal dawn. We give thanks for all that has been given to us through you, and we ask for the grace to be your faithful disciples. May we praise you all the days of our lives and throughout eternity. + Amen.
*LOVE the Word® exercises are offered according to FIAT: the four personalities, or “prayer forms,” explored in Prayer and Temperament, by Chester Michael and Marie Norrisey: Franciscan, Ignatian, Augustinian, and Thomistic: FIAT! These prayer forms correspond to the Myers-Briggs personality types.
You can download a complete, word-for-word transcript here, when it becomes available, courtesy of Dora Donovan who does our transcripts for you.
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