Daily Reflection for Monday, September 19, 2022
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Monday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Proverbs 3:27-34.
Responsorial: Psalm 15:2-3a,3bc-4ab,5
Gospel: Luke 8:16-18
Our reflection on Monday’s readings:
No one who lights a lamp conceals it under a bushel basket… Luke 8:16-17
Refuse no one the good on which he has a claim when it is in your power to do it for him. Proverbs 3:27
“Then God said: Let there be light.” (Genesis 1:1) Recently I was participating in a short Bible study and the leader asked us to read the familiar first few lines of the Genesis story. It had never occurred to me before to wonder why God first created light, of all the many marvels that He would go on to create. Why was it important to begin with this? Light is a complex phenomenon which is defined as “the natural agent that stimulates sight and makes things visible” per the Oxford Language Dictionary. What does the light that Jesus talks about in today’s Gospel make visible to us? The first reading from Proverbs gives us an idea about what he meant.
How many times have I passed by a person holding a sign on a street corner and rationalized to myself that giving them a dollar would not be in their best interest because they would probably just spend it on alcohol or drugs? How many times have I walked past a person lying in a doorway on a pile of newspaper on a chilly night, only to go home to my warm bed? What about the shabbily dressed person who sits in the back of Church and never speaks to anyone? Loneliness is a growing social problem and has been identified as a leading cause of suicide. But how often do I fail to include the socially awkward person who just doesn’t seem to fit in, to participate in a conversation? All these are the invisible people who God has put in my way and asked me to see. I hear Him sometimes whisper, as he did to Simon, “Kathy, do you see this woman?” (Luke 7:44) He has provided me with the light, the Christ light that makes the invisible, visible.
Once I begin to see these invisible people, how can I willfully choose to quench the light that has revealed them beneath a bushel basket of indifference? I realize that I cannot solve all the many complex problems in the world today. I can’t fix poverty, hunger, loneliness, addiction, mental illness on a grand scale. But I can shine the light of Christ on the individual who is standing right in front of me. They have a right to know they are beloved children of God. It puts a claim on me to demonstrate that by treating them with compassion and doing what is within my power at that moment. I believe this is often the way God accomplishes His work and answers prayers.
Lord, put me where you need me and open my eyes to see the good that I can do instead of being overwhelmed by all that I cannot fix.