It goes without saying: Jesus is the light of the world. But believers must also let His light shine, and let it radiate into the beyond. But how? The Chief Apostle examined this in a recent divine service.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” This exhortation from Matthew 5: 16 was the basis for a divine service in Praia, Cape Verde, on 26 February 2023.
“As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” This is what Jesus Himself said. “He brought light to human beings. What is this light?” Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider asked. Here are his answers:
- Jesus Christ revealed the true nature of God to mankind: “God is a good Father who cares for you, He is a God of grace and mercy, and a God of love.”
- He did not just preach: “In fact, He did the works of God’s love, the works of God’s grace. This is how He showed the people: God loves you like I love you! God forgives you like I forgive you. God helps you like I help you.
- Jesus Christ revealed the true essence of salvation to human beings. “Salvation is not about solving all the problems on earth, but about leading you into His kingdom, where evil and death no longer exist.”
- Jesus did not answer all questions. He did not tell Martha why He had not prevented the death of Lazarus. He did not give an explanation for the slaying of the Galileans in the temple, nor for the people that died when the tower of Siloam collapsed.
- The light of Christ shows us the way of salvation: to avoid sin, to believe in and follow Jesus, to receive the sacraments, and to remain steadfast in the Apostles’ teaching.
“Jesus showed this way of salvation to both the living and the dead,” the Chief Apostle said. “In the Scriptures we read that Jesus Christ went into the realms of the dead after His death and brought His light into the beyond.”
Creating light with works
Jesus Christ has given us His light, and now we must let this light shine. However: “Don’t just talk: let your light shine through your works!” This includes:
- “Through our gratitude to God we show that God is our Father, that He cares for us. What we have comes from Him.”
- “Even if we sometimes don’t understand what is happening in our lives, let us stay with God and trust Him! Through our faithfulness and trust we can show that we love God.”
- “We are not afraid of the future. We know: the best is yet to come. Our priority is always the return of Jesus Christ.”
- “We also want to show others the way of salvation: to be with the Lord, one must follow Him today. To follow Jesus Christ is very simple: all we must do is love as He loved.”
- “In order to be redeemed we follow the Apostles, attend the divine services, and celebrate Holy Communion.”
The effects reach into the beyond
“We do not only want to help people on this earth,” the Chief Apostle made clear. “We also desire that those in the beyond, the dead, can be redeemed.” Because: “We firmly believe that God is the same for the living as for the dead, and we believe that the salvation He offers is the same here on earth and in the beyond.”
“And because we believe this we pray for the departed,” the Chief Apostle explained. “For our prayers to be credible and effective, we still need to do something: we have to treat the living as we treat the dead. You cannot intercede for sinners in the beyond, but judge and condemn sinners on this earth.”
Chief Apostle Schneider concluded: “Jesus is the light of the world. We make His light shine by modelling our lives on the example of Jesus. We believe that God loves the departed and we pray for their salvation.”