Feb 4, 2023
“Your light must shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”
And how shall “your light break forth like the dawn” except that you “share your bread with the hungry, shelter the oppressed and the homeless; clothe the naked when you see them, and do not turn your back on your own.” Indeed, you must “remove from your midst oppression, false accusation, and malicious speech,” for only “the man who is gracious and lends, who conducts his affairs with justice,” only for him “light shines through the darkness” – as he is thus light being brought to this world of darkness and sin – only “he shall not fear,” for “his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.” And he shall stand on the last day, when the light comes to its fullness.
This emptying oneself of all that is evil and finding oneself in all that is just by “lavishly [giving] to the poor,” by feeding all those in need, is as Paul comes to the Thessalonians: “I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling.” “I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” “Not with persuasive words of wisdom” does he come “but with a demonstration of Spirit and power.” Embracing the cross he empties himself entirely of all selfishness, of all that is not of God, and thus the light that shines through him is entirely of the Lord, and serves as genuine food to the hungry soul.
Brothers and sisters, to whom is the Lord speaking in our gospel but to us? Who is “the light of the world,” what is the “city set on a mountain” but the Church? If we are not “the salt of the earth,” bringing out the flavor of justice and love from the flesh of the Body, who shall be? And what shall become of us and the world, therefore, but “to be thrown out and trampled underfoot”? Sometimes we look to others – to government, to business, to science – to lead the way. But all that need be is that we light the lamp that is in our grasp by the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the house shall be illumined; we shall no longer fear or worry for the fate of those in need, for we shall be present to serve them. But if “under a bushel basket” we place the light that is ours, what can the world be but dark; and what can the people do but suffer? Brothers and sisters, we are called to shine the love of God. The time has come to do so.
Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt.
Music: "Removing the Log from My Eye" (2nd part) from Listening to the Lamp, ninth album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.
O LORD, let us trust firmly in you
and so shine your light
even as your Son, Jesus.
YHWH, help us to be the light you call us to be, the light we must be if the world is to be saved from darkness. Your Son has come as the true light to illumine the hearts of all men, to save them from their sin, and we must now carry that light forth, for who else shall do so?
Bless your Church, O LORD. with the sacrificial Spirit of your only Son. Instill in our hearts the love only He knows. Help us to be generous, to lay down our lives for others, that the hungry might be fed and the naked clothed with your glory. O may our light indeed break forth like the dawn in this dark world that all souls might be drawn to your kingdom!
No fear have we, dear LORD, but the fear of failing to serve you, failing to reveal the face of Jesus in all we do. Let us not hide His light; let our spirits not be corrupted and we be trampled underfoot for turning from your call. Rather, let us do good, let us do your will, that your glory may be ever with us.