Thursday, January 30, 2014

Be Made Visible

Jesus said to his disciples, “Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket or under a bed, and not to be placed on a lampstand?  For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible; nothing is secret except to come to light.  Anyone who has ears to hear ought to hear.”  Mark 4:21-23

Lord, find a home with us.  Help us to overcome our anxiety.  Let our eyes see your mystery so it is no longer hidden.  Let our ears hear your message.  Then, let us go out like the Twelve on the mission you commit to us.

In many of the readings in already early in this season of ordinary time, Jesus performs a sign or a miracle and then tells the person healed not to say anything to others.  Or sometimes, he asks them only to tell the priests in the temple. 
The various people cannot keep from spreading the Word about Jesus. Jesus is hidden.  He started life in a dark stable and was brought to Egypt in secrecy.  He was in the protection of his family for years.  Yet, now as the ministry begins to be fulfilled, his “secret” is coming to light.  People are beginning to learn that he is the One, the Messiah. 

Following this series of parables, this chapter in Mark concludes not with a parable but with a miracle as Jesus will calm the stormy seas. He is no longer just talking about what will happen in symbolic parables.  Now, he is moving more swiftly into action. After he calms the seas, the next chapter is filled with driving out demons and healing.  His lamp is no longer under a bushel.  His lamp is being re-positioned on the highest lamp stand

Every day is a new Christmas.  Every day is a new Good Friday.  Every day is a new Easter.  These are days we can decide to do something to end hunger and poverty. 

Tuesday night, President Obama delivered his fifth State of the Union speech.  Since then, commentary on the speech have highlighted – among other things -- some details that advocates for poor people and immigrants, in particular, would like to see addressed.  According to the National Catholic Reporter, Fr. Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA, released a statement saying he was encouraged by Obama's focus on "creating ladders of opportunity that have the potential to raise up the vulnerable in our nation, strengthening communities across the country and restoring the dignity of every American."

As the country marks the 50th anniversary of the "war on poverty" launched under President Lyndon Johnson, said Snyder, "we must decide as a nation that we can't wait any longer to act on behalf of those least among us."

Where can you mount a lamp to shine its light on poverty so people can help to overcome it?

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