2 Samuel 7:18-19, 24-29
In olden days, streets had gas lamps. And each evening a lamplight would go from lamp to lamp with a burning flame and light them up.
One evening the English writer John Ruskin watched the lamplighter at work. Actually Ruskin didn’t see the lamplighter, because it was dark. He only saw the torch and the trail of lit lamps that he left along the way.
Then Ruskin commented to the person sitting with him and said, "There’s a good illustration of a Christian. People may never have known him, they may never have met him, they many never even have seen him, but they know he passed through their world by the trail of lights he left behind him."
Jesus says to us, "You are the light of the world." (Matthew 5:14) Like a lamplighter it is our vocation to remove darkness and brighten up our world.
How do we do that?
When we refrain from lies and speak the truth, we brighten up our world.
When we stop nagging and point out the good we see in others, we brighten up our world. When we lift spirits with music and humor, we brighten up our world.
When we reach out to the poor, when we show compassion to the sick and when we give a listening ear to the bereaved, we brighten up our world.
When we speak up for the respect of human life, when we take a stand for justice, and when we work for peace, we brighten up our world.
In a word, when we show love we brighten up our world. So we pray,
"Jesus, you light up our lives. May the brightness of your love flow to us and then through us to all the world."
Fr. Alan Phillip, C.P. is a member of the Passionist Community at Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California. http://www.alanphillipcp.com/