SAINT ANGELA MERICI, VIRGIN (OPTIONAL MEMORIAL)
Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket or under a bed?
It may sound strange at first, but there’s a way that God the Father has placed Jesus in our hands. Think about some of the stories in the Gospels. As a child, he depended on Mary and Joseph. When he fell asleep in a boat during a storm, he entrusted himself to the disciples’ sailing expertise. And most dramatically, he allowed himself to be “handed over” to the authorities who crucified him (Mark 9:31).
In a similar way, Jesus has entrusted the light of his presence into our hands. It’s the “lamp” that he tells us not to hide under a “bushel basket” (Mark 4:21). Jesus is asking us to accept this lamp gratefully and to let its light shine on everyone around us. He is asking us to do more than warm ourselves in the glow of its flame; he wants us to invite other people to step into its warmth and light.
“But how can I shine the light of Christ into the world?” you may be thinking. “I’m just one person—and a fallen person at that. Shouldn’t I leave this to people who are better qualified?”
These are good questions, but in some ways they miss the mark of what Jesus is saying here. All he is asking us to do is not hide his light. In other words, he is asking us to simply live out our faith. This means letting our actions and words reflect the love of God. Simple acts of generosity and humility and compassionate words of forgiveness and encouragement are all we need to begin, and his light will start to shine. If we can do just that, then people will notice, and opportunities to share our faith will arise naturally. That’s because the Holy Spirit, who is the fire of God’s love, will be working through us.
So shine the light of Christ, and trust that the Holy Spirit will take care of the rest. It’s true that not everyone will receive the light, but that’s okay. You don’t know God’s plan for them. It’s not for you to decide who is ready for Jesus and who is not. Just keep living out your faith, and rejoice that God has chosen you to be a light in the world.
“Lord, help me to shine your light today.”
2 Samuel 7:18-19, 24-29
Psalm 132:1-5, 11-14