God's Light is our Supreme Delight
Bathing in the Radiance of the Sun of Justice
St. Gregory of Agrigentum
From the commentary on Ecclesiastes by St. Gregory of Agrigentum, used in the Roman Catholic Church's office of readings for Saturday of the 7th week in Ordinary time, with the accompanying biblical reading taken from Ecclesiastes 11:7-12:14.
Light is sweet, says Ecclesiastes, at the sight of the sun the eyes are glad. Take away light, and the world is without beauty. Take away light, and life itself is without life. Moses, a man who saw God, says God saw the light and said it was good. So it is right for us to contemplate the great, the true, the eternal llight that enlightens every man that comes into the world – that is, Christ the savior and redeemer of the world, who was made man and lived the human condition to its very end. Of him the prophet David says in the Psalms,
Sing to the Lord and celebrate his name!
Make a road for him who rides upon the clouds –
“The Lord” is his name.
Rejoice in his sight!
He called the light sweet and foretold that it would be good to see with his own eyes the Sun of glory, he who as God-in-man said I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will not be walking in the dark: he will have the light of life. And again: This is the judgement, that light has come into the world. In this way he used the light of the sun, which we perceive with our eyes, as a prefiguration of the coming of the Sun of justice. That Sun was sweet indeed for those who were found worthy to be taught by him and to see him with their own eyes just like any other man. He was not just any man, he was also the true God, and this is why he made the blind see, the lame walk and the deaf hear, this is why he cleansed people afflicted with leprosy and by his sole command called the dead back to life.
Moreover, even now , in the present, it is a most sweet activity to look on him with the eyes of the spirit, to contemplate his divine beauty and ponder it in our hearts. Thus through communion and togetherness we are enlightened and adorned, our spirits filled with sweetness and we ourselves wrapped in holiness as in a cloak. We attain understanding and finally we are filled with exultation in God which will all the days of this our present life. As the wise preacher Ecclesiastes said, However great the number of years that a man may live, let him enjoy them all. Obviously the Sun of justice makes all who gaze on him rejoice. As the prophet David says:
The righteous are glad and exult in God’s sight;
they rejoice in their gladness.
Rejoice in the Lord, you just: it is good for the upright to praise him.