First Reading: Ezr 1:1-6; Psalm: 126. R. v. 3a; Gospel: Lk 8:16-18
BE A LAMP ON A STAND
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
“No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a vessel, or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, that those who enter may see the light.” (Lk 8:16)
In the ancient Jewish architecture, houses are usually windowless. At night, a room can be so dark that nothing was visible. But with a lamp a whole room was illumined. Jesus used this illustration to describe how the life of a true disciple should be. A true Christian life should be transparent and not hidden just like a lamp that lights up a room. This is not about making our good deeds public for people to see. But it is about living a life that God is proud of; a life that we would not be afraid or ashamed to make public.
Ordinarily, good deeds fear no publicity. Good actions are freely carried out in the open. Only evil or sinful deeds are done in secret because we are not proud of them. So, Jesus admonishes that a true disciple should not live in sin which is often a secret activity. “No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a vessel, or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, that those who enter may see the light.” The life of a true Christian should be like a lamp that lights up the path for others to follow. Our life should be a source of inspiration to the world.
We can re-examine our lives today to find out those things we do that we are ashamed or not proud of. What are those things we do that we fear people may know or see? Every serious minded Christian knows that to live a sinful life is to live in imprisonment. We cannot be free, happy, fulfilled and proud of the life of sin because we know it opposes the virtuous life we are called to embrace and covers our light that is meant to shine. Jesus wants our light on the stand. He wants it in a place where all can see so they can learn from us. We can only do this by choosing to live exemplary life. People don’t just listen to what we say; they also pay attention to what we do. And if the things we do must inspire others, then they must be good and upright.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, may our light of righteousness shine out to inspire our world. Amen.