The Gospel according to Mark (4:21-25)
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.”
Reflection: When I ten years old I lived with my grandmother, aunt, and uncle, who was a priest, in a small town in Mexico. Occasionally my uncle would look for me and say, “let’s go”. We would get in his Volkswagen beetle and drive sometimes for hours. We would go to another small town or into very remote areas to visit people. He would also say mass. We would often make our way home at night. I was a little scared but what made me feel better was seeing a light far off ahead. Although we would pass other small towns along the way I knew one of those lights was home. Ironically, now as an adult I reflect on these experiences, and I realize my uncle brought friendship, worship, and the real presence of Christ as a light to those we visited.
How many times have we brought our light or better the light of God’s grace and mercy that makes us who we are to others? Sometimes it is with direct intent and purpose and others, without us realizing. In today’s gospel Jesus uses light as a reminder that we should not hide our gifts, the grace he gives us. It needs to be placed where it will be most effective. But he also warns us to be careful of how quickly and harshly we can judge others. Staying with the metaphor of light do we look at others and criticize their lives. Maybe we think or say they are not doing enough to let their light shine. Or what they do is more for show than for the glory of God. It is easy to comment on the lives of others when there is no apparent consequence. But one last admonition, Jesus, in essence says what goes around comes around.
Instead of worrying about how bright or how effective everyone else’s light is why don’t we concentrate on what we do with the gift of our light. Then, first by example, and after that with a humble and sincere heart we can go out into the world and help tend to each other so we can all, with hearts united, cast a light so bright that it will lead all the way home.
Action of the Day: Are you hiding your light in any way? Pray, reflect, think about where that may be. Then with the help of the Holy Spirit remove the obstacle that is preventing you from letting that gift provide the light of grace to yourself and others.