Jesus said to his disciples, “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.” He also told them, “Take care what you hear. 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 4:21-25)
The pandemic, civil unrest, countries continually at war . . . all of these and more have dimmed the brightness of the world.
Peoples’ lives are a shade less bright as well. Extended families can not see each other. Travelling is a bit more risky. Constant concern erodes some of the innate and natural vibrancy of people.
Along comes today’s Gospel. Jesus reminds us that the gift of our lives is not just for ourselves. We are called to be a gift for others, a gift that leads them to God. This is the greatest thing about our life: We are called to give life. We are called to participate in the fruitfulness of God. We give life by enlightening others. We help other people come to the light by trying sincerely to go clearly towards the light and by not fearing to show people the truth.
Jesus lit the lamp of our minds and hearts with his holy word and he doesn’t want us to place it under a bushel basket or a bed but on a lamp stand. He doesn’t want us to keep what he teaches us secret but to make it visible, to bring it to the light of day so that others might similarly be illuminated. . . so their lives might be brighter.
He also reminds us that the more we give, the more we’ll receive it, and if we don’t pass His light on to others, we’re at risk for losing it. Any teacher will tell you that if you really want to learn something, try to teach it to others. The measure with which we measure is measured back to us. The way we let the light shine, the way we take care of the word, is to measure it out, so that we may not only grow in our possession of the light of his word but also grow in our giving it away as the great blessing David and Moses both recognized.
When we enkindle the flame of Christ in our hearts, the effect is that Christ shines forth through us for others to see. Jesus says that “No one who lights a lamp conceals it…” In other words, if you are not shining with the light of Christ, it’s not because you are hiding Him, it’s because He is not burning in your soul. When He is burning in your soul, the light cannot be contained.
We are urged to pause and think about the precious light that has been entrusted to us by our Creator; we need be intent and aware of opportunities to let that light shine. We do that as we pray for others (maybe sometimes even asking if they would like us to pray for them), we do that as we write to others words of recognition and support, we do that as we call someone just to say they are in our thoughts, we do that as we serve others in the power of the Spirit and in honor of our Lord.
We can never forget to be the person who is a lamp for God. You and I are being used by Him. He wants to use you today, right now. It may not be how you want to be used or where you want to be used, but God has a plan for your life and the light you bring into the room.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord Jesus, you guide me by the light of your saving truth. Fill my heart and mind with your light and truth and free me from the blindness of sin, ignorance, and deception that I may see your ways clearly and understand your will for my life. May I radiate your light and truth to others in word and deed.”
We are called to be carriers of light to enlighten as well as to illuminate. When we read and listen to the Word of God, we, whether knowingly or not, allow God’s Word to take root in our lives. His Word transforms us from the inside out, and then pushes us outward to share His Word with others. Our faith in God is the only thing in the world that increases internally the more we give it others. This is, perhaps, what Jesus means when He says, “To the one who has, more will be given.” The more we share our faith, the greater it grows within us.