All That Is Light Is Jesus Christ
"All the people in the synagogue
furious when they heard this. They
drove him out of the town, and took
the brow of the hill on which the town
built, in order to throw him down the
(Luke 4, 28-29)
Molokai is one of the islands which make
up the Hawaiian Islands. It is known as the
friendly island. But for the lepers in the
mid 1800 it was anything but friendly. Here
they were isolated and secluded in a desperate
effort not to let this disease spread throughout
all the islands. No buildings, no shelters,
no potable water, no medicine ... they were
left there to rot and die.
The situation started changing in 1873,
a young Sacred Heart priest of 33,
Damien De Veuster , Flemish, offered
to go and help out the people there.
a courageous decision because it meant
stepping into a living graveyard. In
just eleven years later, one morning
pouring some hot water into a cup when
water swirled out and fell onto his
foot. It took him a moment to realize
he had not felt any sensation. Gripped
the sudden fear of what this could
he poured more hot water on the same
No feeling whatsoever. Father Damien
realized what had happened. He had
In his first liturgy with his people
this incident, he acknowledged this
by starting his homily in this simple
" We lepers...."
He had become one of them in a very
and tragic sense. The disease invaded
windpipe and progressed to such an
that he could only sleep but for a
His voice was reduced to a whisper.
was in his throat, lungs, stomach,
Four years later he was dead, practically
abandoned by everyone.
1800 years earlier another man had taken
the same path and suffered the same consequences....
in a much more drastic and radical way. He
was God. But for our sake he lost everything
and became man. He knew what it would cost
him. He bore in his pure body the marks of
evil so that we may be made whole.
Yet this Man suffered constant rejection.
Age 30, he came to Nazareth, his hometown.
Choosing the prophet Isaiah, chapter
he announced the wonderful news that
come to free the captives and release
prisoners and give sight to the blind.
is his mission in life : He can and
to break our addictions. All of us
addicted .. . to sex, gossip, fears,
alcohol, pain killers, suspicions,
We find ourselves unable to get out
We cannot not worry. We cannot not
We cannot get rid of all these shackles
sin and vice. We would like to, perhaps,
but we are simply not able. Many offer
solutions. Many tell us to be positive.
But no one really gives us the strength
overpower these fetters.
Jesus Christ announces in Nazareth
came just for us, prisoners and captives.
And the good news is that He came with
He *can* break the chains and set us
He has come purposely to destroy this
master. He is a giant killer. He brings
The irony is that not only they did
him, they tried to kill him. Here is
who has the real solution to their
and they try to eliminate him.
Why? The reason is simple. They expected
a different kind of Jesus, a successful
a Jesus who does miracles more often,
who solves problems, a Jesus who does
the way they want them to be.
The irony is more tragic if we realize
perhaps this is the same problem with
Last week I went to hospital to visit
young girl who has been in a comatose
for the last seven, eight years. I
about her parents. Loving, dear parents.
They do no longer come to Church, I
because they sustain that God was not
with them. He should never have let
thing happen. Recently I met this couple
whom I had blessed their marriage a
back. They are angry at God because
only child was born mongoloid. "It
better to be mean and have fun and
the heck you want to do than to be
they tearfully remarked.
A mystery. Anger fills the heart of
who miss out on grace.
A very important question. How does God present
himself? He presents himself in the
which we are living. In this nagging
in his oblivious husband, in this painful
arthritis, in this mortgage problem.
I want Him to present himself in a
way. A pleasant wife, a caring husband,
health, lots of success. A miracle
And if I do not get what I want, many
I fall into self pity, I feel myself
of circumstances and try to gratify
in my infantile pleasures...
Perhaps deep down we do not want to
of our addictions because that is the
source of enjoyment in life... When
cold outside even a filthy coat will
job. One can gets used to prison life.
in Egypt after all is not all that
Our ideas, our plans can blind us to
love of God.
But Jesus Christ is what He is and
we want him to be. He knows what is
for us. Even in Israel, He showed himself
in the unassuming appearance of a normal
man. A very normal man with a very
Later on He even revealed himself in
In fact this was His supreme manifestation.
And this is how He is going to manifest
to us. In the everyday events of our
In life the way it is and not in life
way we want it to be. The cross, the
the injury, the hurt... is not a mistake.
It is an appointment.
We can take two attitudes in front
events which life presents especially
they are is not to our liking. We can
God to get us out it! "Get me
Please, quickly! It is too much....
risk throwing Jesus Christ down the
Or with Jesus and like Jesus we can
to pull us through! "Pull me through,
Lord!" God is smart. He does not
mistakes. He can even turn the mistakes
others in our favor. He gives us always
we need. If we need failure, he gives
failure. If we need success, He gives
success . If we need a garden of Gethsemane,
He gives us a garden of Gethsemane.
not a neurotic parent. He is a Father.
All the farmers knew that the co-op
top dollars if they brought the potatoes
already sorted - small, medium, large.
they noticed that this farmer always
the potatoes right out of the ground
hauled them directly to town. He didn't
them and yet he got top dollars.
When they protested with the manager,
answer was simple and outright : "No,
men, you are wrong. He always has his
sorted out. You know the trick? While
all take the good nice road to town,
takes the road with all the holes and
Man, big potatoes always rise to the
on a rough road."
God can do marvels on the rough road.
Do not throw Jesus down the cliff when
is not to your liking. Power is in
A doctor who specializes in critical
once wrote to Father Thomas McSweeney,
of The Christopher Notes and told him
story : "As an intern years ago,
examining a comatose patent much as
done for the previous two weeks. Never
that she might have the ability to
questions or communicate, I was shocked
hear her mumble some words. As I drew
to her. I notices that the nurse had
opened the window curtains and a ray
was shining on her face. I shielded
from the sun and listened closely as
whispered to me,
"Remember, Doctor, all that is
is Jesus Christ."
Those close to death are in contact
a mystery. The simple mystery that
life is light if we have eyes to see
because all our lives is from Jesus
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission
hereby granted for any non-commercial
provided that the content is unaltered
its original state, if this copyright