Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Shine Joyfully

Shine Joyfully

Memorial of Saint Barnabas, Apostle

By Beth DeCristofaro

While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, completing their fasting and prayer, they laid hands on them and sent them off. (Acts 13:2-3)

Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your heavenly Father.”
(Matthew 5:16)


You are the light of the world!
You are the light of the world!
But if that light is under a bushel,
It's lost something kind of crucial
You've got to stay bright to be the light of the world …

So let your light so shine before men
Let your light so shine
So that they might know some kindness again
We all need help to feel fine (let's have some wine!)

You are the light of the world
You are the light of the world
But the tallest candlestick
Ain't much good without a wick
You've got to live right to be the light of the world
            (from Godspell: the Musical, “Light Of The World”)


Recently I listened to an interesting and comedic piece on the radio.  The subject isn’t important but a throwaway line by the interviewee is.  In answer to a question, he laughed and admitted that because he was raised Catholic, this question brings up the guilt in him readily.  It was a cute line, one at which I laughed, feeling “I know what he means.”  But then I paused and thought again.  Many of us were raised with a pretty high sensitivity to accepting guilt.  Our teachers stressed this perhaps more strongly than good virtues of a strong moral compass and the ability to know wrong.  Staying at guilt however is not what Jesus wants of us.  It is not what propelled Barnabas, Paul and the other apostles to convert so many.

We were created in God’s divine image, “God looked at everything he had made, and found it very good. “ (Genesis 1:31)   How can we be a shining light, a city on a hill for all to see or spicy salt if we grovel in guilt?  Guilt is a barometer nudging us to needed reconciliation.  Joy is the place where God’s glory is found.  As the song says, the light needs a wick – that’s us.  Our piety, study and action can form us into a reliably burning one.


Thank God for the gifts you have been given through which you can share God’s glory to the world.  How can you better use those gifts not for strutting your own stuff but allowing God’s glory to touch the people with whom you meet every day in a more real, personal way?

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