The opening of today’s Gospel presents a dramatic scene. For the full week of the Feast of Tabernacles the people of Jerusalem abandoned their homes to live in palm frond huts recalling their ancestors’ forty-year traverse of the Sinai Desert. Just for that week, recalling the pillar of flame that led them through the desert, they lit an immense lamp towering over the Court of the Gentiles.
There was a feeling of sadness running over the crowd on the last day of the week when that lamp was extinguished for the year. It was at that moment that Jesus cried out, “I am the light of the world, whoever follows me will not walk in darkness.”
As to what way Jesus can be the light for us, we might ponder two Scripture passages. One is Psalm 36 where we read:
In your light we see the light. (When he is the light that aids our thinking we are able to see the light that is the right answer.)
The other is Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, 5: 8-9:
Live as children of the light, for light produces every kind of goodness, justice and truth. (Jesus is speaking metaphorically when he says he is the light. This verse tells us that he uses light as a metaphor for goodness, justices, and truth.)