Sunday, September 23, 2012

Become Visible

Become Visible

September 24, 2012

Monday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Envy not the lawless man and choose none of his ways: To the LORD the perverse one is an abomination, but with the upright is his friendship.  The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked, but the dwelling of the just he blesses; When dealing with the arrogant, he is stern, but to the humble he shows kindness.  Proverbs 3:31-34

"No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel or sets it under a bed; rather, he places it on a lamp stand 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."  Luke 8:16-17


Father, give to me the fortitude to make my life for you a visible  example for others.  Place me on your holy hill.  Help us to detach from the temptations of power and wealth in the world and accept our role as lowly servants so that others may be inspired to follow in your footsteps.  Amen.   


Where does God's favor rest?  As much as we wish with Tevia to be a rich man, we know that God's favor rests on his lowly servants who are meek and humble of heart.  We hear that theme proclaimed in the Canticle of Mary over and over.  "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, My Spirit rejoices in God my Savior For He has looked with favor on His lowly servant."  The same theme is expressed again a few verses later. "He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, And has lifted up the lowly."

This tension between the mighty and the meek, the evil doers and the just is repeated stressed in Psalms, Proverbs and the whole corpus of sacred scriptures. 

Why don't we get it?  Why do we still pursue the pleasures of a big car, a fancy house, a well-stocked 401K?  How many ways does the Lord and the prophets have to express this reminder?

We are reminded today to choose the ways of the righteous one.  In other Gospel passages about not putting a lamp under a bushel, we are reminded that we are the lamp.  Nothing we do will be hidden. 


Be the lamp.  Let others see your ways.    The Lord did not make you a lamp in order to hide you under a desk or a pile of leaves.  Your work is an example for others.

Last weekend, I had the chance to volunteer with a small group of men doing yard work at a home for people who are intellectually challenged.  When it came time to tackle a very large but dying limb of an oak tree in the back yard, the person who climbed up in the tree to fell that branch was not the youngest and most nimble person.  The guy who was up in that tree first was probably the most senior of our crew.  And he stayed up in that tree until the limb was about to come down. 

He did not make a big deal about the difficulty of the work.  He did not complain about how his back hurt as he contorted his body to saw through the branch.  He did not throw in the towel when the power saw burned out.  He did not whine when he got down and saw that his ladder was bent and broken.  He did not even make a sound when the falling limb hit his hand.  He just carried on -- the servant to the people in the house, inspiring us with his quiet ways. 

Just as he was our lamp, you can be the lamp to others in your piety, study and action.  Let your life in the Tripod become visible for others this week.

Mary could not have made her devotion any more visible as she grew larger week-by-week with the Christ child growing in her belly.  How visible are you willing to be?

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