Today’s Gospel gives us a glimpse of what happens when we let God’s light shine through us. When I converted nine years ago, God slowly worked on my heart and lit a flame of love for Him. That lamp burns bright some days. On other days, for some reason it stays hidden under the bed. I am in too much of a rush, and I forget that flame He lit just for me. I fail to invite Him into my day, and in doing so, fail in my responsibility to keep the lamp out on the lampstand. My behavior is not without reproach, and those days are harried and stressed, containing far too many raised voices.
As Catholics, we have such beautiful examples of how the light of Christ shines through real people, in the Saints. My three favorites are Saints Claire, Catherine, and Theresa of Avila. Each possessing such different personalities, and different gifts, yet because of the choices they made daily to serve God, they shine the light of Christ for the good of the world.
What happens when we let ourselves be His lamp, when we hear His word and allow it to affect our very behavior? We are able to join the Saints and stand in His holy place:
Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false, and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the LORD, and vindication from the God of his salvation.
And what does the Lord tell us will come of our dedication? More. For to him who has will more be given; and from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. The good that we show others, has been given unto us, and when we don't pass it on, it will be taken from us. Christ pulls no punches! He is here to give us limitless grace, but we must also respond to that grace by passing on His goodness and His light. We become the Lamp that offers His light to others, and that lamp will never burn dry.
Clean your hands of that which separates you from God and examine your heart. What is preventing you from putting your lamp on the lampstand each day? What areas do you need to work on in order to have a pure heart? Be honest with yourself and commit to work on just one thing this month.
Go to confession, and start off clean, that His light may shine all the brighter.
MaryRuth Hackett is a full-time wife and mother doing her best to teach her four children to love God and country. You can find out more about her here.