2 Samuel 7:18-19, 24-29
"Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket
or under a bed, and not to be placed on a lampstand?
In today’s Gospel, Jesus talks to his disciples about the importance of light. With today’s cities so filled with light, it is hard to imagine the ultra dark skies in Jesus’ time and the vital role of the lamp. Our skies are seldom completely dark with the pervasiveness of light and its constant reflection in our civilization. Perhaps you might have some idea of the darkness experienced by the Jews if you have ever gone camping in the wilderness. Night skies lit only by stars, homes that were filled with darkness except for one or maybe two lamps–this was their world. When the disciples heard Jesus’ words, the absurdity of hiding a lamp under a bushel basket or a bed would have been immediately apparent to them.
As Christians, we accept that our Faith in Christ is our light, our guide in the darkness of this world. And can we, as disciples of Christ, not see the absurdity of hiding our faith under a bushel basket? It seems to me that we are being told rather to shout to the world of our faith in Christ. We are called to live our Faith so that everyone who sees us will know how much we believe in Christ. Jesus is telling us, "don’t hide your faith, live it so that the world will see it, so that all with whom you have contact will be touched by the Faith that guides your life!"
Today, we also remember the great Theologian, Saint and Doctor of the Church, St. Thomas Aquinas. Thomas Aquinas dedicated his life to thinking, speaking, writing and living his faith. His greatest work, Summa Theologica, containing the very doctrines of our Faith, is a treatise on the existence of God, the Sacrifice of Christ and the role of humanity. It is accepted by Christians and non-Christians as one of the most important philosophical and theological works ever written.
The life of St. Thomas Aquinas serves as a model for us, not only because of the words he put on paper, but also because he loved and embraced the Faith in all that he did.
We should each ask ourselves, how does my life reflect my Faith?
Mary Lou Butler ([email protected]) is currently serving as administrator of Christ the King Passionist Retreat Center in Citrus Heights, California.