Today we remember Gregory the Illuminator, a 4th century bishop and missionary in Armenia. My first thought when I read about Bishop Gregory was what must he have done or said to be remembered almost 2000 years later as an Illuminator! He converted the people of Armenia and preached the Gospel; he was a light in a world of darkness.
It is not coincidental that Richard Rohr has been talking about Light and illumination this week in his meditations. He has been sharing thoughts and perspectives from various mystics, people who see the light of God's image and likeness everywhere and always.
It is not hard for me to make a list of illuminators I have known, people who shine with the light of Christ, whose words and actions speak Love.
I commend to you the obituary in this morning's New York Times about an illuminator. Julie Yip-Williams has died, but in her short life she shone with the light of the world as she faced all that could have drowned her with a light from within that shone to the end.
“Hope is a funny thing, though. It seems to have a life and will of its own that I cannot control through the sheer force of my mind. It is irrepressible, its very existence inextricably tied to our very spirit, its flame, no matter how weak, not extinguishable.”
Finally as Mary Beth Ingham says in her book Scotus for Dunces,
"And so, what does this mean for us? We are called to see the greatness of God in the smallest of things. We see divinity within humanity. We discover in ourselves a light within, and we discover in every human being, and as Scotus teaches, in everything that exists, an inner light that is a gift from God."
and from the Gospel of Matthew,
You are the light of the world. . . . Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14, 16
What a bright light Bishop Gregory must have projected!