Meditation is an ideal way to pray. Using God's word (Lectio Divina) allows me to hear, listen and reflect on what the Lord wants to say to me - to one of his disciples - just like He did two thousand years ago.
The best time to reflect is at the beginning of the day and for at least 15 to 30 minutes.
Prior to going to sleep, read the Mass readings for the next day and then, in the morning, reflect on the Meditation offered on this website.
I hope these daily meditations allow you to know, love and imitate the Lord in a more meaningful way.
God bless you!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Lk 8:16-18 Trying To Be Irrelevant

Monday of the Twenty-Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
(Click here for readings)


Jesus said to the crowd:
“No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel
or sets it under a bed;
rather, he places it on a lampstand
so that those who enter may see the light.
For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible,
and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light.”

As a high-school student, I have heard many a homily about this Gospel reading.  Sometimes, this reading is picked for school Masses or special occasion Masses even when it is not the reading for the day! On the surface, the Gospel does seem to contain a wonderful sentiment—we should make the most out of our gifts, right? We should shine the light that God has given us as bright as we possibly can by going into the world and doing incredible things. I would agree with that. However, while I do agree with the popular interpretation of this Gospel, it also raises an important question—what is the light Jesus is talking about?
The popular interpretation of human beings being the light of the world is correct. After all, the parallel of this reading in Matthew chapter 5 says, “You are the light of the world… neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick.” However, notice that in this passage from Luke, Jesus does not once say the word ‘you.’ He simply mentions ‘the light.’ What does that mean?  We may be the light, but the light is not created by us. The light shines through us through no act of our own power.
That is the temptation that we have to resist—making ‘the light’ about ‘you’! I remember being a little freshmen and getting so hyped up about how I was going to go out after school and change the world. I was going to eliminate poverty, fix corruption—all by myself! It wasn’t really until I started getting into some service projects and mission work that I saw I couldn’t really do that. My own will and my own power are like little grains of sand compared with all the suffering, injustice, and pain in the world.

We recently read a reflection in theology class by a priest named Henri Nouwen who abandoned a very scholarly position at Harvard to work in a South American community for the handicapped. His words speak better than mine ever could:
“Since nobody could read my books, the books could not impress anyone, and since most of them never went to school, my twenty years at Notre Dame, Yale, and Harvard did not provide a significant introduction… In a way, it seemed as though I was starting my life all over again… These broken, wounded and completely unpretentious people forced me to let go of my relevant self—the self that can do things, show things, prove things, build things—and forced me to reclaim that unadorned self in which I am completely vulnerable, open to receive and give love regardless of any accomplishments…. the [Christian] of the future will be those who dare to claim their irrelevance in the contemporary world as a divine vocation that allows them to enter into a deep solidarity with the anguish underlying all the glitter and success, and to bring the light of Jesus there.”

What?? A vocation to be irrelevant? That is countercultural. But it is the truth. We are only the “light of the world” inasmuch as we bring the light of Christ to others. We are instrumentsWe are like the moon—we may give light, but only because light is given to us by the Son (I love that pun!). Acting on our own volition, we are entirely irrelevant.

At our baptism, we receive a candle—we receive the light of Christ. Don’t hide it. But at the same time, always acknowledge who gave that light to you—acknowledge Him who set you apart to be His light in the world!

1 comment:

  1. This was a great post! Very enlightening. We may be "lights" in the world, but it is only because the light of Christ is shining through us. I saw a t-shirt that said "Be the moon, reflect the Son", but never saw its meaning as portrayed in this post. Thank you!


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