A Gospel Reflection for Tuesday, January 26th, 2021
What did you learn in Kindergarten? My wife and I used to joke, back when our children were young — we learned sharing.
Sharing is one of the earliest life skills that our parents attempt to teach their children. Being generous and gracious with our possessions doesn’t seem to be automatically ingrained in the hearts and minds of Children.
Put a couple of one and two-year-olds in a room with a few toys, and inevitably the most common refrain you’ll hear is “MINE.” That proclamation, unless restrained may be followed up with more strenuous objections, often resulting in fighting, biting, and tears, with the victor possessing the lion’s share of the toys.
Jesus, in today’s Gospel parable, reminds his followers that what we are given is not solely for our own benefit, but to be shared with others — freely, and even generously.
Our Lord tells us that the words we are given are similar to a fiery light. Of course, we know that they weren’t using incandescent or LED lights two-thousand years ago. NO, they were using flaming oil lamps. The disciples clearly understood the folly of placing a burning lamp under a bed or basket.
Lamps today just as so long ago, have one particular purpose, and that’s to dispel darkness, to make visible things that are hidden in the shadows. The same is true for the Word of God.
One of the descriptions of Jesus uses for Himself, is that He is the “Light of the World.” (John 8:12) what did he mean by that?
Jesus consistently focused on linking Himself to the Father. The Greek word for light in this verse is phos, defined as the light; anything emitting light; light, i.e. brightness. God profoundly states, “I am.” Light is part of who He is. Subtle but powerful.
Each day, the sun rises to warm, illuminate, and provide growth on earth. The moon and stars light the night, serving as navigators long before smartphones. We reach for the light-switch when we enter a dark room, and we depend on our accumulation of knowledge to shed light on our lives. Light permeates into every crack and crevice of our lives and beings, whether visible, tangible in regard to warmth, or metaphorically enlightening. The origin of phos describes how light makes manifest, evident, exposed or clear.
Light is required for any vegetation to grow, and the light clarifies the human spirit. Christ was present at the creation of the world. The Author of Light has the authority to illuminate His creation in its truest form. Jesus saying He is the Light of the world is the outer recognition of His Father’s creation and presence, and the inward dwelling of the Holy Spirit, by which we know our Father and walk with Jesus. Jesus is the Light of the world, our world, and in the world. Like God is omnipresent, so Jesus is Light. Through Him and His sacrificial death on the cross, we are exposed to the light and of our sins.
Jesus came to share his light with us so that we could share it with others. We are told to take care of what we hear. We are called to be stewards of the word. Like old-time lighthouse keepers, we’re to make sure that the light stays on so that it will illuminate the right path for our journey, keeping us off the rocky shoals, or dangers of sin.
Jesus is the pure and unfiltered light. We must take care that we don’t allow filters of modernism to distort the light.
What children don’t understand is that sharing can be a blessing to others. This metaphor becomes even more powerful when we consider the virtual lifesaving nature of Jesus’ sacrificial work.
In this understanding, today’s gospel reading becomes an admonition that we, His followers, must work to share the pure Light of Christ. The Gospel of our Lord wasn’t given to be hidden under a basket, but to shine like a beacon in the night, illuminating the right path for the whole world to see.
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.”
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