Filled with Light, Shine!
Reflection for the Gospel Reading for Friday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time (Matthew 6:19-23)
Internet Image from: https://blog.kevineikenberry.com/leadership-supervisory-skills/the-best-leaders-carry-a-flashlight/
Jesus tells us in the Gospel today:
“The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light; but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be in darkness. And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be.” (Matthew 6:22–23)
I was once in a cave when suddenly the electric lights went out. Talk about fear! Inky, thick, darkness engulfed the cave. With each step there was the potential of pain or death through stumbling into a rock wall or into any of the numerous drop-offs that surrounded me. I was frozen with dread. Panic and despair quickly followed. After what seemed like hours, someone shone a small light ahead. That light pierced the darkness, and the way out was illuminated. The path was not easy, but I could make it! Relief and joy flooded my heart and fear disappeared. In that light was safety and salvation.
St John Chrysostom preached that,
“The light is the understanding, through which the soul sees God. He whose heart is turned to God, has an eye full of light; that is, his understanding is pure, not distorted by the influence of worldly lusts. … But whoever has an eye, that is, an understanding, either darkened by the influence of the malignant passions, or fouled by evil lusts, possesses his body in darkness … he has no hope in Heaven, which hope alone gives us the strength to resist desire.” (As quoted in Aquinas. Catena Aurea: Commentary on the Four Gospels vol 1)
Follow and receive the light! That light comes to us through study of Word and reception of the Sacraments, especially the Sacrament of Reconciliation, eliminating sin, and the Eucharist, flooding our bodies with Christ. Let it fill your soul and illuminate every thought and action. That light is Jesus! He tells us:
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
Today and every day, let the light of Christ vanquish sin and despair in your own life and like the light in the cave, let the light of Christ, which fills your being, shine out for others who frozen with fear cannot find the way to salvation.
New American Bible. Revised Edition. Washington, DC: The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2011. Print.
Thomas Aquinas. Catena Aurea: Commentary on the Four Gospels, Collected out of the Works of the Fathers: St. Matthew. Ed. John Henry Newman. Vol. 1. Oxford: John Henry Parker, 1841. Print.