“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…let it shine…let it shine…let it shine.” Out little light is part of the big light—Jesus Christ. He is the light of the world.
We just celebrated the Feast of the Presentation. Candles were blessed to remind us of the flame of faith in our heart which was lit at our Baptism and will one day be presented to the Father by our guardian angel when we die. The spark is rekindled when we receive any of the Sacraments, particularly Holy Communion. Christ recharges us through the Blessed Sacrament so that we can be His witnesses. Consider that it is “Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” Obviously, there is a lot of darkness. Almost everywhere we look negativity is overwhelming. Violence, separation of families, infidelity –all seem to dominate our society. One little light can dispel the darkness. One little light can make a difference. Look at the Saints. They were just one person—one light. Look at the difference they made—because they dared to be different. Since we are social beings, we tend to “go with the flow”. We want to be liked, so we try to blend in. There is strength in numbers, and we consider the majority to be correct. Repeatedly we have seen that the majority can be wrong. A crowd yelled, “Crucify Him!” They were wrong! The power of darkness uses the sin of pride to obstruct truth, justice, freedom—which do not always win. Money, influence, lies push their way against the light. But in the end, they always loose. Although the powers and principalities of this world might enjoy popularity, the light of Christ will shine—through us.
We are the ones who must shine. We must stand for the truth of the Gospel. We were never meant to be silent Christians, hidden under a bushel basket. Want to keep friends? Want to be accepted? Then don’t talk about religion or politics. Unfortunately, some folks put them on the same level. The two topics are different and often unrelated. We can be a Catholic under any government, but American politics are not welcomed everywhere. Which offends us more, an insult against our Country or an insult against our religion? Which are we more willing to defend, our Country or our faith? The Catholic Faith is much bigger than the United States. The Gospel that Jesus came to preach was not intended for any one people or nation, but for all of humanity.
Just like salt can lose its flavor, so we can lose our desire to be disciples of Christ. As in any relationship we begin to take things for granted. A couple married for 50 years does not behave the same as newlyweds. Perhaps some things need to relax, but not love. Like good wine, love needs to grow and get better with age. Wonderful to hear senior citizens tell each other, “I love you more now than the day we got married.” The same should happen in our love relationship with Christ. There are no excuses for neglecting prayer, for not coming to Holy Mass at least once a week (which is the bare minimum), for not growing in our Faith. God is always faithful. We go up and down. If we lose our taste, unlike salt, we can be reconciled. We can return. Original innocence can be restored if we ask. However, losing our taste puts us in the danger zone. Notice that many have not returned after the dispensation was lifted to miss Holy Mass because of the pandemic. People got comfortable staying home and watching Mass on TV. Convenient, but can never be the same because there is no Eucharist. Only the sick, the incapacitated, and those at high risk can stay home on the weekend. They never needed a dispensation. Time to get re-salted. Time to see results from the seeds of Faith planted in us at Baptism. The light flickers but never goes out.
In a world filled with darkness our light must shine for all to see, beginning in our family. Our good deeds will glorify our heavenly Father.