Meditation for the Day

Tuesday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time, June 8

Let Each of Us Be That Lamp Which Burns Brightly, So That We May Truly Become All That God Is Asking of Us, That We May Be the Salt Which Gives Flavor and Preserves for the Sake of His Kingdom Here on Earth.

In today’s Gospel, after our Lord had completed His teaching on the Beatitudes, we hear Him saying, “You are the light of the world…[let] your light must shine before others.”

For many of us today, it is hard to imagine what life must have been like before the invention of the electric light bulb and the refrigerator. In the days of Christ and in the days of Elijah, the only source for heat was a wood stove or fire; the only source of light was generally an oil lamp; and the only way that food could be preserved from spoilage was through the application of salt.

To us, what would appear as hardships was, for people some two thousand years ago or even earlier, a normal daily routine, whether it be drawing water from a well with a bucket, making sure your lamps were filled with oil so you would have a source of light in the evening, or making sure your stores of meat were packed in salt, so that you and your family would not become sick.

Jesus used these ordinary images, such as salt and light, to convey extraordinary truths. What does salt and light have to teach us about God and his reign on Earth? Salt was a valuable commodity in the ancient world. People traded with it, like we trade today with gold or silver or shares of stock.

Jesus used the image of salt to describe how His disciples were to live in the world. Just as salt purifies, preserves, and penetrates, so His disciples must be as salt in the world of human society, so as to purify, preserve, and penetrate that society with God’s Truth.

Jesus also used the image of a lamp which gives light to further his illustration. Lamps in the ancient world served a vital function, much as they do today. They enable 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 his light we see light.” And in Psalm 119, we find the words, “His word is a lamp that guides our steps.”

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 Love.

And we can make this imagery work for us in today’s secular world. 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 to see the Heavenly reality of God’s Kingdom.

In fact, it is our mission is to be “light-bearers” of Christ by the way we live our lives, 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.

What is it that our Lord said to us in today’s Gospel Reading? “…your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”

And we do this not with pride or arrogance, but rather with humility, love and charity towards one another. The perfect example for us to look to is the humility and love for the poor and the underprivileged which Saint Mother Teresa lived in her daily life in Calcutta, India.

Those suffering saw in her the loving and merciful Christ, and she saw in their faces the suffering Christ. She once said, “Like Jesus, we belong to the world, living not for ourselves but for others. The joy of the Lord is our strength.”

And the joy of the Lord should also be OUR strength in living our faith each day, amidst the daily struggles and the ups and downs which each of us face from time to time. The plight of the homeless, the anguished expressions of hunger and sickness never dimmed the flame that was burning in Mother Teresa’s heart.

Did she have her moments of sadness and despair? Of course, because she was human! But she never let the oil in her lamp burn out; she never let the salt that flavored her spirit become insipid or bland.

She was a shining example of what it truly means to be a “…light unto the world.” One could see in her eyes the Light of Christ, for they were eyes filled with love for all of God’s children, especially those who were marginalized by society, especially those who were the most vulnerable.

He asks that we not place our faith “…under a bushel basket”. Rather, our faith is to be as a lamp which burns for others to see and follow, for, in this way, as Jesus says, we “…glorify [our] Heavenly Father.”

Let each of us be that lamp which burns brightly, so that we may truly become all that God is asking of us – that we may be the salt which gives flavor and preserves for the sake of His Kingdom, and for the sake of His children and our own salvation.

As we read today in our Responsorial Psalm, “Let your countenance shine upon your servant…”

– let us pray that Jesus will help us to radiate His Light and His Truth within us to others around us, through both our words and our good deeds!

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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.

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Scripture for the Day

“You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?” (Matthew 5:13ab)
• “Do not let the salt of the covenant with your God be lacking…” (Leviticus 2:13b)
“Keep salt in yourselves and you will have peace with one another.” (Mark 9:50b)
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house.” (Matthew 5 14-15)
• “Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’(John 8:12)
• “For with you is the fountain of life, and in your light we see light.” (Psalm 36:10)
• “Though I sit in darkness, the LORD is my light” (Micah 7:8c)
• “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path.” (Psalm 119:105)
“Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5:16)
• “Let your face shine upon your servant; teach me your statutes.” (Psalm 119:35)
“…whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.” (John 3:21)
“I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” (Isaiah 49:6b)

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Prayer for the Day

“Lord, Almighty God,
Let everything I do this day
and throughout all the days of my life
be inspired by You, for I long to remain close to you.

“Guide me in my life of faith,
and help me to remember
that nothing is important in life
unless it glorifies You in some way.

“Enlighten my heart and heal my imperfections,
so that I may become Your Light
in a world filled with shadows and darkness.

“Help me to always rely on You for help,
so that I may reach towards perfection in my own life,
the perfection which unites myself to You.

“And help me to live each day with humility and love,
becoming the extension of You in all whom I meet,
for, only in this, will I truly live Your Love in the world.”

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