“All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.” - St Francis of Assisi
Gospel text (Lk 8,16-18):
Jesus said to the crowd:
"No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel
or sets it under a bed;
rather, he places it on a lampstand
so that those who enter may see the light.
For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible,
and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light.
Take care, then, how you hear.
To anyone who has, more will be given,
and from the one who has not,
even what he seems to have will be taken away."
Do you remember that song you used to sing as a child? The one that goes a little something like this:
“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. This is little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine, let shine, let it shine, let it shine.
Hide it under a bushel? No! I’m gonna let it shine. . .(etc.)
Everywhere I go, I’m gonna let it shine, etc.”
The moment I read the words of Jesus in the Gospel today, that song popped into my head. Now I can’t get it out of my head. But, I think this little children’s song is a good reminder of the truths Jesus is trying to tell us in the Gospel.
In the Easter Vigil liturgy, as the newly blessed Paschal candle is brought into the sanctuary, the minister carrying the candle proclaims, “Christ our light!” We are a people who have been walking in darkness, and Christ is the light that banished that darkness. Just like putting a lamp under a bed or a bushel is a rather silly idea, hiding Christ from the world is detrimental. Hiding our faith in and love for Christ is as useful as concealing our lamps: no one can see the light.
Showing the light of Christ to the world can be difficult. We live in a secular society that can sometimes be very critical and even hateful to those who believe in something more than the material world around them. But, again, Christ gives us consolation. Again and again, he reminds us, “to anyone who has, more will be given.”
Christ is our light, and we can shine that light into the world in countless ways. The choice to do so is ours, we make it everyday.
Remember this, you either add to the darkness or shine Christ's light into it.