“Your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father” (Matt 5:16).
Jesus is challenging us to let our light shine! As Ohioans, this seems like a good mission to strive for as I am confident to say we haven’t seen the sun do this in a while! A good question, then, is, “How?” How do we let our light shine? What deeds must we live out in order to let our light shine? Fortunately, the answer lies in the readings for this weekend.
Isaiah tells us that our light will break forth like the dawn when we: share our 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. If you remove from your midst oppression, false accusation and malicious speech, then your light will shine!
Psalm 112 says that the just man is a light to the darkness when he is gracious, merciful and just…conducts his affairs with justice…he will never fear an evil report…his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord…his heart is steadfast; he shall not fear…lavishly he gives to the poor.
St. Paul points to the importance of first resolving to know nothing except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. There is no way we can expect to be a light for others unless we first get to know THE LIGHT in the first place.
We have been given so many wonderful ways to let our light shine. Where do we start? It might be good to pray through the many ways that have been listed from sacred scripture and ask the Holy Spirit to point one way out to you today. Ask the Lord to give you the grace to respond to that way, and live that way out this week and in so doing, you will let your light shine!
To close, here are some words of a prayer, called “Radiating Christ” written by Cardinal John Henry Newman. It was often prayed by Mother Teresa…
Stay with me and then I shall begin to shine as You shine,
so to shine as to be a light to others; the light,
O Jesus, will be all from You;
none of it will be mine:
it will be You shining on others through me.
Let your light shine,