“No one after lighting a lamp hides it under a jar, or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is hidden that will not be disclosed, nor is anything secret that will not become known and come to light. Then pay attention to how you listen; for to those who have, more will be given; and from those who do not have, even what they seem to have will be taken away.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
To appreciate Jesus’ words in today’s Gospel, one must keep recall the context of the ancient world. Electricity was unknown, so all light came from either the sun or fire. Darkness often permeated public places, and especially homes. Light offered comfort, or at least an opportunity to see what was happening around oneself. Each of us has an inner light that is not conditioned by anyone or anything else. No matter how others impact your feelings, know that Christ resides in you and that your inner light burns brightly.
If you spend even a bit of time each day in contemplation, you will develop a wisdom which enkindles your inner light. You can build upon that wisdom and share it with those around you. Share it in a way that inspires others to do good. Goodness, like wisdom, does not require perfection…but only our best effort. Jesus does the rest.
—Matt Kemper is the Director of Community Service at St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati. He is grateful to Brian Shircliff for his input on today’s reflection.
We are the light of the world,
may our light shine before all,
that they may see the good that we do,
and give glory to God.
—Excerpt of We Are the Light of the World, Jean Greif, © 1983 Vernacular Hymns Publishing Co.