This reflection will help youth understand why Jesus is the “Light of the World”. Jesus Christ is the ultimate revelation of the heart of God.
Start in complete darkness in the room. Have a small stuffed animal to pass around. If you cannot make it completely dark in the room, then make it as dark as possible and put the toy in a drawstring bag. It is important that the youth not be able to see the toy.
We are passing a small object around the room. Let everyone have an opportunity to hold it.
Wait until the stuffed animal has been passed around the entire group.
You have all held the object. You should have some observations about it
- What do you know about the object? (They should all be given the opportunity to contribute. Allow plenty of time.)
- Do you think you know everything there is to know about it?
- What don’t you know about the object?
Turn the lights on and let them see the stuffed animal.
Now you can see what you were holding. Let’s take a closer look.
Pass the stuffed animal around the group again.
- What do you know now that you didn’t know the first time we passed around?
- Why was it difficult to really know everything about this stuffed animal when it was dark in the room?
Read the gospel reading.
Jesus said to Nicodemus: “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.
Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil.
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed.
But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.John 3:14-21
We could know some things about the stuffed animal in the darkness. But we couldn’t know everything. In the same way, the Old Testament tells us many things about God. But not all. It was not a complete revelation of God.
Jesus changed all of that. He came to fully reveal the heart of God to us.
God desires that we know who he is and how much he loves us. That is why Jesus became human like us. Jesus is the ultimate revelation of who God is and how much he loves us.
Jesus is everything that God would like to tell us. The entire Old Testament prepares for the Incarnation of God’s Son. All of God’s promises find their fulfillment in Jesus. To be a Christian means to unite oneself ever more deeply with the life of Christ. To do that, one must read and live the Gospels. Madeleine Delbrêl says, “Through his Word God tells us what he is and what he wants; he says it definitively and says it for each individual day. When we hold our Gospel book in our hands, we should reflect that in it dwells the Word that wants to become flesh in us, desires to take hold of us, so that we might begin his life anew in a new place, at a new time, in a new human setting.YouCat – The Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church – 18
Jesus is the Light of the World. Through him, we can see how much God loves us. We can see the nature of God’s love for us. God shows us that love is willing to sacrifice. Jesus is willing to give his whole self in order to love us.
- How does knowing how much God loves us impact our lives?
- Does being loved make it easier to love others? What sort of confidence does it give us?
- How can we help someone who doesn’t know how much God loves us?
Jesus also shows us what it means to trust in God. Jesus trusted completely in God the Father. He died for us knowing that it was the Father’s will.
- What does it mean for us to trust in God?
- How does Jesus show us what trust really means?
- In what ways can we put our trust in God in our daily lives?
God is speaking to us right now, through Jesus. Sometimes we might think that we don’t really know God. But we do. By reading the gospels and reflecting on how Jesus lived, we can understand the heart of God. We can hear Him telling us how much He loves us. We can hear Him asking us to trust Him.
This week, think of something you are anxious about. Spend some time talking to Jesus about it. Listen to Jesus telling you to trust that God will care for you. If you need to, reach out to your pastor or a youth minister to help you understand what God might be trying to tell you.