Thursday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time, January 28
May Each of Us Be That Lamp Which Burns Brightly, So That We May Truly Become All That God Is Asking of You and Me, So That We May Truly Be “Light-bearers” of Christ.
In today’s Gospel, we hear our Lord asking a question to those who were listening, “Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket or under a bed, and not to be placed on a lampstand?”
As I had mentioned before in an earlier meditation, for many of us today, it is hard to imagine what life must have been like before the invention of the electric light bulb. In the days of Christ and for the early Christian communities, the only source of illumination was either an open fire or an oil lamp.
To us, what would appear as hardships were, for people who lived and walked with our Lord some two thousand years ago, a normal daily routine, whether it be drawing water from a well with a bucket, or making sure your lamps were filled with oil so you would have a source of light in the evening.
Jesus used the ordinary image of a lamp to convey extraordinary truth. Lamps in the ancient world served a vital function, much like they do today. They gave light and enabled people to see and work in the dark and to avoid stumbling.
The Jewish people also understood “light” as an expression of the inner beauty, truth, and goodness of God. In Psalm 36, we read “In your light we see light.” And in Psalm 119, we find the words, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path.”
In other words, God’s grace not only illumines the darkness in our lives, but it also fills us with spiritual light, joy and peace. And Jesus used the image of a lamp to describe how his disciples were to live in the light of His Truth and His Love.
We hear our Lord saying in today’s Gospel, “For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible; nothing is secret except to come to light.” Jesus was explaining to His disciples that the great Light of God’s revelation cannot be buried or hidden. Rather, it is meant to be given freely to the whole world.
It is for this very reason that those simple men and women, who comprised our Lord’s close circle of friends, took the Word of God to all whom they met, for they themselves brought the Light of God’s Truth throughout the world, so that others might believe and be saved. Our Lord’s disciples believed and gave witness to what we read in the Letter to the Hebrews, “Let us hold unwaveringly to our confession that gives us hope…”
And you and I can make this imagery of the Light of God’s Truth work for us in today’s secular world as well! Just as natural light illumines the darkness and enables one to see visually, so the Light of Christ shines in the hearts of believers and enables us, as His disciples today, to believe and give witness to the importance of establishing God’s Kingdom here on Earth – in the hearts and souls of all those whom our lives touch.
In fact, we are each called to be “light-bearers” of Christ by the way we live our journey of faith on this side of the eternal, so that we may help others to see the truth of the Gospel message and to be freed from the blindness of sin and deception. For as our Lord told us in John’s Gospel, “If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
When you and I give our uncompromising “yes” to Christ, then His Spirit is able to work within each of us. When we freely give our heartfelt fiat to all that our Lord is asking of us, then it becomes our special covenant with God, asking Him to use us – so that His Divine will may be accomplished through us.
It is through our “yes” whereby we become active participants in the Body of Christ, helping to bring about the Kingdom of God here on Earth. It is when we say and live our “yes’s” to God Himself, placing Him at the very center of our daily lives, that God then creates a special covenant with us, calling us and enabling us, with the help of His grace, to serve the needs of His Church here on Earth for the salvation of souls, all for His greater honor and glory.
And we hear His covenant to us in today’s Gospel, His promise to always fill us with His grace – “The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you, and still more will be given to you. To the one who has, more will be given…”
In Luke’s Gospel, we find the following added to the idea of the measure which our Lord shall confer upon us: “Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap.”
God is asking each one of us to say “yes” to His Spirit. He is asking each one of us not to hide our gifts “…under a bushel basket or under a bed.” For when we turn our backs on God and His children, then we unfortunately realize what Jesus tells us today, “…from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”
It is through our personal fiat, our personal yes, whereby we show love, mercy, compassion and understanding to others – especially to those who are the most marginalized in today’s society, to those who are the most vulnerable. It is through our fiat whereby we truly live the faith which you and I profess in our daily lives.
May each one of us be that lamp which burns brightly, so that we may truly be all that God is asking of both you and me – so that we may truly be the “light-bearers” of Christ by the way we live our walk of faith here and now – through our words and through our good example.
And may all our yes’s be our way of truly living God’s Love as we await the fulfillment of His glory here on Earth! †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “[Jesus] said to them, ‘Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket or under a bed, and not to be placed on a lampstand? For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible; nothing is secret except to come to light. Anyone who has ears to hear ought to hear.’” (Mark 4:21-23)
- “For with you is the fountain of life, and in your light we see light.” (Psalm 36:10)
- “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path.” (Psalm 119:105)
- “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12bcd)
- “Jesus then said to those Jews who believed in him, ‘If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’” (John 8:31-32)
- “Let us hold unwaveringly to our confession that gives us hope…” (Hebrews 10:23a)
- “The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you, and still more will be given to you. To the one who has, more will be given; from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” (Mark 4:24b-25)
- “Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap.” (Luke 6:38ab)
- “The light of the righteous rejoices, but the lamp of the wicked will be put out.” (Proverbs 13:9)
- “The lamp of the body is your eye. When your eye is sound, then your whole body is filled with light, but when it is bad, then your body is in darkness. Take care, then, that the light in you not become darkness. If your whole body is full of light, and no part of it is in darkness, then it will be as full of light as a lamp illuminating you with its brightness.” (Luke 11:34-36)
Prayer for the Day
You who are the Light of the world,
grant us Your Heavenly blessing.
“May the radiance of Your Light
illumine our hearts and strengthen
the spirit of faith and love within us.
“Let the Light of Your Divine Presence
guide us in our walk of faith,
for in Your Light do we see light.
“May we become the presence of Your Love in the world,Anonymous
guiding Your children out of the darkness,
so that happiness and peace may ever abide in all men.”