JAN 28. ORDINARY TIME (B) WK. 3. THU. MK. 4. 21-25
Updated: Aug 22
Jesus said to the crowd, ‘Would you bring in a lamp to put it under a tub or under the bed? Surely you will put it on the lamp-stand? For there is nothing hidden but it must be disclosed, nothing kept secret except to be brought to light. If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen!.’
He also said to them, ‘Take notice of what you are hearing. The amount you measure out is the amount you will be given – and more besides; for the man who has will be given more; from the man who has not, even what he has will be taken away.’
The theme flowing from this reading is the need, and vocation, for Christians to “give” to the world, via The Imitation of Christ; - just as Christ, the ultimate ‘light’ gave to the world!
When we think about the methods of “giving”, or “being a light for the world” we tend to think of the priesthood and the Church hierarchy, together with the need for ‘powerful’ sermons and preaching; - but this is not what the life of Christ and the Saints reveal!
Certainly, sermons and writings have an important role (Feast of St Thomas Aquinas today!) but these are not the means by which the Church has grown and spread, and Christ himself is a wonderful example of this in that we heard, or saw, nothing from him for thirty of his thirty-three years! That is a long period of silence; - given to growth in love and spiritual maturity!
Then we have Mary, the Mother of God, who we hardly heard a word from for her entire life; - with the same circumstances applying to multiple contemplatives who have never left their monasteries. All were focused solely on doing Gods Will; - and renouncing their own!
The “message” here is the most effective way of being a “light to the world” is by “doing the Will of God”! The rationale for saying this is a belief God is the Creator, and the one in ultimate control, and so the most effective way for the individual to be a light is to co-operate with the wisdom and power of God; - putting our Trust in him; - rather than in ourselves!
The alternative is to “trust in ourselves and our own ability and goodness” but, because we are all sinners, this is a dangerous path to take, as it can lead to pride and a presumption in our own skills and abilities; - rather than placing our Faith and Trust in God and his merciful Love!
Certainly, this Gospel reading does ask us to be an individual “light” but, before we can do this, there needs to be a lengthy period of prayer and learning; - with the aim of determining what God wants us to do! Our spiritual life needs to first grow and develop into a mature Love!
The thirty years of Christ’s hidden life was not a wasted and unimportant time; - rather it was a time of growth and maturing, where he developed a deep intimate relationship with God and he also “learnt”, in the process, what The Father wanted of him!
And note a subtle Gospel lesson; - by focusing solely on the Will of God; - Christ and his Saints have had a lasting impact on the whole world; - in addition to any influence they might have had on those around them; - with the example of their “light” still being pondered today!
We have to follow the same path, with our primary focus being the development of an intimate relationship with God; - through Humility, Prayer, Sacrament, Mortification and Charity. It is only in doing this that we discover, and become, the “light” God wants us to be!
Gospel Acclamation Ps118:105
Your word is a lamp for my feet
and a light on my path.
First reading Hebrews 10:19-25 · Let us keep firm in the hope we profess
Through the blood of Jesus we have the right to enter the sanctuary, by a new way which he has opened for us, a living opening through the curtain, that is to say, his body. And we have the supreme high priest over all the house of God. So as we go in, let us be sincere in heart and filled with faith, our minds sprinkled and free from any trace of bad conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us keep firm in the hope we profess, because the one who made the promise is faithful. Let us be concerned for each other, to stir a response in love and good works. Do not stay away from the meetings of the community, as some do, but encourage each other to go; the more so as you see the Day drawing near.