The parables Jesus used were excellent teaching tools. We may not understand them at first or second reading, but they engage our minds, are memorable, and invite us to discern meaning. They may speak to us of personality, the senses, the nature of light, the perception of things, or interpersonal relations.
Sometimes the light is just light; sometimes, it is divine light, the clarity, or better, the transparency provided by God’s word. Did Jesus use parables in his ministry to clarify spiritual issues, or did he use them to allow us to focus on and apply his spiritual message personally? At any rate, they are more than just sayings. Mark includes several parables in today’s gospel reading. Indeed, many of you may have others with more profound meanings. I can only respond with my reflections for one parable today.
Place your light on the lampstand; let it shine. Let the light of your faith conquer the darkness. At the baptism ceremony, a candle is lit from the Easter candle, representing Jesus, the light of the world. The lighted candle is then given to the one baptized or, when a baby is baptized, to one of the godparents. Some prayers accompany this rite: “Receive the light of Christ” and “Walk always as a child of the light.”
In this way, a new light is brought into the world to punch holes in the darkness around us, as Jesus did. Each one of us is such a light. The problem is that the lights often need to be exposed when hidden. Jesus uses the metaphor of putting one’s light under a tub or a bed.
He adds that our lights shouldn’t remain hidden. We shouldn’t make a secret of ourselves. Our light should be disclosed to help others to see. This disclosure is not a question of words. Lamps do not speak. They shine. They help us to see! It is a joy to be able to shine and see! Without light, the world will remain stumbling in the dark.
And if you happen to be a parent or godparent of a child, remember that other prayer at the handing over of the light: “Parents and godparents, this light is entrusted to you to be kept burning brightly. You should not only kindle the light but foster it! Christ enlightens this child of yours.”
To one who has, more will be given. Anyone may be poor in material things but rich in faith. If we have no faith and are not moved by the word of God, we will come away with nothing to give to others. Our priorities must be aligned with our ability to discern God’s will for us and our need or duty to share our grace with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Spiritual powers are like physical powers. The more we use them, the stronger they get. The less we use them, the weaker they get. If we never use our lights, they will soon lose the little shine they once had. Our saints today, Timothy and Titus, they burn brighter still today.
- To view Rosary prayer and Mass streaming live, please visit our Facebook page at 11:30 am EST, Monday – Friday. Please invite your loved ones to join us too! (You don't need a Facebook account to view.)