View all Gospel Reflections |
Let It Shine
Thursday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time
Jesus said to his disciples, “Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket or under a bed, and not to be placed on a lampstand? For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible; nothing is secret except to come to light. Anyone who has ears to hear ought to hear.” He also told them, “Take care what you hear. The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you, and still more will be given to you. To the one who has, more will be given; from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”
Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, I thank you for calling me to this time of prayer, and I ask that you silence the distractions around me and just let me be in your presence. I know that you have something to say to me today that will be for my benefit. I want to hear you, and I want to do your will.
- The Source, and Our Hope: In the first reading, King David humbly came into the Lord’s presence with absolutely no misunderstanding of who was in charge. The awesome power granted to David had a source, and as shrewd, skilled, and courageous as David showed himself to be, he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that it had been God’s hand at work all along. With great gratitude, the King acknowledged his good fortune. But in a lesson to us all, he didn’t stop there. He looked to the future with hope—hope that the promise that his Lord made to his servant would truly be fulfilled. We, too, baptized into the multitudes of the chosen, cry out similarly in hope, thankful that the Lord, Our Father, keeps his promises.
- No Hiding: One hundred years after the song “This Little Light of Mine” was penned for children, a television commercial in 2020 was thanking our health care workers with pandemic video footage backed by the chorus: “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.” Civil rights figures of the 1960s borrowed the words to animate nonviolent opposition to oppression. Sometime in between, most of us sang the refrain, maybe as a child or as a Sunday school teacher, perhaps tracing out motions in the air signifying light, an emphatic “No!”, or the world. In “light” of today’s Gospel reading, we may recall the four verses that the songwriter, Harry Dixon Loes, shares about “it” (the light freely given to us by God): Hide it under a bushel? No! I’m gonna let it shine; Don’t let Satan blow it out, I’m gonna let it shine; Shine all over the whole wide world, I’m gonna let it shine; and Let it shine til Jesus comes, I’m gonna let it shine. Lord, how, and to whom, would you like my light, which is your light, to shine today?
- Growing Capacity: We might find it odd when Christ tells his disciples, “to those who have much, more will be given.” This claim, at first, is hard to reconcile with Our Lord’s teachings about detaching from possessions, or that the “first shall be last.” Consider, though, this wisdom from the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “God is love and in himself he lives a mystery of personal loving communion. Creating the human race in his own image…God inscribed in the humanity of man and woman the vocation, and thus the capacity and responsibility, of love and communion” (CCC 2331). As we grow our capacity to love, we shouldn’t be surprised when God gives us more to love. Welcoming children in the womb, fostering or adopting children, or otherwise brightening the lives of children (ours or others) are beautiful means by which we finite beings can grow our capacity to love selflessly, and begin to image God in his infinite love. “Let the little children come to me” (Matthew 19:14).
Conversing with Christ: Lord, thank you for your light in the world and in my heart. I recall your words to your disciples recorded by St. Matthew: “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in Heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Give me the grace to be your disciple and fulfill these words today.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will think of three gifts I have been given by you and assess which one I can put more clearly at your service.
For Further Reflection: Read sections 2331-2336 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, exploring the capacity to love.
Andrew Rawicki and his wife JoAnna live in Irving, Texas, near seven of their nine grandchildren. A convert from Judaism, Andrew entered the Church in 1991 and has been a member of the Regnum Christi spiritual family since 2001. He has served as the Regnum Christi Local Director for Dallas since July 2020.
What did you think?
Share your review! Just log in or create your free account.