Lenten Meditation: Light of the World


We are called to be the light of the world. Do we truly understand what this call means? The answer is simple, and yet we find it difficult. To “be the light of the world” means we act as the body of Christ in this world; we make Christ corporeally manifest through us by letting His light shine through us. It means we seek truth and confront evil; we speak and act with authority and without fear; we go to the suffering and marginal areas of our societies; we succor the heartbroken, the destitute, and the poor. And our faith in Christ protects the light, just as the candle on the lampstand is protected by its glass chimney while letting the light shine through it.


Nothing in these descriptions is cerebral; they are all physical actions. It is what we do and say that matters. When storms come, each one of us must choose how we act. We are comfortable with the role of the loving, caring Christ, but are we able to be the radical Christ, the rabbi who spoke against hypocrisy, falsehood, and powers enslaving others? All too often we forget that the path of self-sacrifice is a pathway that always resists and never succumbs to evil. Never render evil for evil, but neither succumb to evil. Such action is often much more difficult for it asks us to condemn evil actions and yet always be ready to offer forgiveness to the penitent.


Within ourselves, we see choices we have made and yearnings welling within us which we abhor; we feel we are a mixture of both good and evil. The reality is that this perception is the very battle raging for our souls, and our acceptance of Jesus Christ as our savior assures us of His steadfast, everlasting help as we are tempered during these trials to become that for which he made us. He did not create us to be timid, but rather fearless and assertive for His justice.


So, when the winds of despair and wickedness swirl around you, ground your faith in Christ to give your lamp a sturdy glass chimney that withstands the winds trying to extinguish that light. But above all place your lamp high so all may see as a member of the body of Christ for you are called to be light of the world:


Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matt 5:16)

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