So I am at the annual convention of the Federation of Catholic Medical and Dental Students, taking place from the 10th till the 13th of this very month of September 2015 in Warri, Delta State, and so far it has been worth the while. The journey down here was smooth, and interesting too, so far medical and dental students from about 20 University Colleges of Medicine are here and it’s really fun seeing that number of people turn up to pray together, reflect together and discuss issues together, especially issues that particularly affect their faith and their chosen career path.
Speaking about the journey here, immediately it began, those marvelous beads called the rosary quickly rolled down the fingers of my brothers and sisters in the bus as we set out to commune with the saints and hand over the entire journey and program to God, guess the first part has paid off. However, sometime during the journey we set out to have a little discussion on the theme of the convention, ‘Living the Light’, as we reflected on some bible passages to that effect and shared, it was indeed enlightening.
A lot of things were underscored in so short a time, we set out to understand what the concept of light really meant, especially as it related to the purpose of creation and humanity. Light must have occupied so central a position for it to be the first thing created amid the chaos, formlessness and emptiness of the universe in Genesis 1:3. From there we underscored two important characteristics of the light we speak of viz the light of truth and the light of love. We understood that the light of God is needed to show us the truth about our existence and the true purpose of it, which if we were unaware of we would not really find happiness in this world and thus we wouldn’t be fulfilled. More reflections led us to also see that the ultimate purpose of our existence as showed by the light of truth which the Gospel of Christ sheds on our hearts is love, we were created to love and we were saved to love as well.
Just as scripture says in 1John 4:8 that God is Love, we underscored a parallel relationship between God’s being and his love, the object of this love eternally is the son who is the perfect image of the father’s love and the mutual outpouring of self is the Holy Spirit, such that as we are made sons in the son, we are indeed called to be true images of the true and perfect love the Son has and has given, this love makes us to call God, Father as he does, but also it obliges us to make our own very lives an act of self-giving, of self-outpouring for others. Passages like Philippians 2:1-11 made us see that equality with God, something we have been made partakers of by the Sacrifice of Christ, consists in emptying ourselves for others, in considering others as more important than ourselves and taking the form of a servant in order to make our own lives a gift of love to them for their own salvation, for their own happiness. We also highlighted certain things we should do in order to walk in this light, especially as the world is in a serious state of darkness concerning life, truth and love.
Towards the end of our talk, one of us who was initially reluctant to speak, spoke up and what he said was really enlightening. He said that one characteristic of light is that it is in the presence of light that we see our shadows and yet it is in the presence of light that those shadows disappear. I do not know if he knew but immediately the rest of us were taken into the deeper mystery of this statement and were marveled at its depth. I for one further understood that we are weak and wounded creatures and we don’t know it because we are in the dark about who we are and what our purpose really is, but the light of Christ shining on us gradually, first and foremost, shows us who we really are in the shadow, we see the shadow against the backdrop of the rising sun that is Christ and the more that sun rises and sheds its light on us we become so affected by it that our shadow is gone, it’s just the light of the sun that matters. This was so profound and in a way describes what our journey in the light of Christ looks like.
Finally, we observed from Genesis that light wasn’t just created to remain but after it was created, a lot of other things came into being; in order words, there was life. And so the extent by which we are light to others is tested by the extent by which life is infused into their souls as a result of the light that, through us, shines on them. The test of our really being lights is the life which our light has engendered in people, their coming to know Christ or renewing their commitment to him that by so doing they may not only become lit with life and love but become also vessels of light, life, truth and love for whoever they meet as well. I did enjoy sharing the word with my colleagues and look forward to the rest of the convention, hopefully we would get to share more and learn more.
FECAMDS!!!…in Christ we heal the sick