Social Justice Song of the Week: “I Will Be Light” by Matisyahu

As students at a Jesuit institution, I think it is safe to say that we have all heard a lot about the Jesuit Pillars. Everyone always talks about Men and Women for and with others, Magis, and Cura Personalis. I first heard about these pillars at my Jesuit high school and I loved them so much that I continued on to a Jesuit University. Over the years, I’ve learned about the connection between each pillar and how each one helps to fulfill the others. With this said, in the past year I have grown to greatly appreciate one particular pillar in this regard. “Finding God in All Things” has helped me to appreciate God in everything and better understand the other Jesuit Pillars. If I can find God in everything I encounter, I can be a better man for others, care for the whole person, etc.

Upon reflecting on this, I came up with the idea to start a semester long series for the Cortina Community called “Social Justice Song of the Week.” This will focus on finding God in everything around us. Specifically, I will be writing one or more pieces each week that focus on how I find God in music and the messages I take from it. I hope that this experience can help bring me and my fellow Cortinians closer to God, find Him in our service, and begin to think critically about how we bring God into our weekly service and daily lives. The first song I have chosen to write about is “I Will Be Light” by Matisyahu. Please listen and reflect on the lyrics and then read on to see how I think this connects.

I think everyone has the potential to “be light.” As members of the Cortina Community, it is our job to see the light in others and let it shine in them. However, how do we “be light”? To be a light for others, we have to love. This doesn’t mean we have to take someone out to a candle lit dinner. I’m talking about the ultimate, agapic love. Of course, that’s not easy. But we can make small steps toward this goal by doing things as simple as smiling or listening. When we are at our service sites, some of the people really just enjoy having a person to talk to. By being that person who listens, smiles, and helps however we can, we are being a light for the people we serve.

As we go forth to our service sites, I hope that we can each think about how we are being a light to the people at our sites and, in fact, how they are being a light for us. I started with this song to set the tone for the rest of the semester. I hope that with each song I post that everyone can enjoy them and see how they can take lessons from them to be a light for others.

-Ben Feiten

4 thoughts on “Social Justice Song of the Week: “I Will Be Light” by Matisyahu

  1. Thank you Ben for your thoughtful interpretation of this song. I am Matisyahu’s mother, and am a social worker so your comments about his song are inspirational to me.


    • Thank you Rochelle! I really appreciate that. He writes great music. I’ve seen him in concert once and loved it. Please feel free to check out more information about Creighton’s Cortina Community!


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