September 23, 2013

The Gospel Today 

Memorial of Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, Priest

Luke 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.”

Reflection (Sem. Jason J. Villafuerte):

     The Gospel for today speaks about the parable of the lamp. This passage is connected to Jesus’ explanation of the parable of the sower, when his disciples asked him (v. 9-15). The Lord said, “The seeds that fell in the good soil are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bring forth fruit with patience.”

     Hearing the word is not our initiative. It is God who reveals Himself to us human beings. Thus, hearing is a response. It is not only a mere action but also an act of faith to God who always manifests Himself in various ways.

     In the first reading, we heard that Cyrus, the king of Persia, started to let the Israelites return to their land. He instructed them to return to Jerusalem and start anew life and service to their God. Did Cyrus do this by himself? The Scripture tells us that it was God who inspired him to proclaim this marvellous moment for the Israelites.

     Similarly, in the Gospel, Jesus said, “No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel… rather, he places it on a lampstand so that those who enter may see the light.” It is our very experience that when we are joyful, we cannot hide it. We let other people know the cause of our joy. For a new mother,  her baby is a source of joy; for a kid, a new shirt or a toy means lots of happiness; for a student, a high score in exams; and for a suitor, a simple “yes” from her beloved means a whole life to him. These are moments of joy when we share to every people the cause of our joy.

     To us Christians, the Word of God, Jesus Himself, is the cause of our joy. Thus, our encounter with Jesus leads us to share him to others. He is the Light which, when we found burning in our hearts, cannot be concealed. The only thing we can do is to make Him known to others so that they too can encounter this Light. Hence, as the Psalm goes, we say, “The Lord has done marvels for us.”

     Encountering Jesus gives us a new perspective in life. Being joyful does not mean the absence of sadness or strife. Surely, these will continue to exist, but the light of Jesus will definitely give us the strength to see how these situations increase our faith in Him. He will give us the courage to face them until we realize that we have overcome them.

     “To anyone who has, more will be given.” In the end, we shall find ourselves having an increased trust in Jesus, and in Him alone.

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