Monday, June 09, 2014


By Beth DeCristofaro

The brook near where Elijah was hiding ran dry, because no rain had fallen in the land. So the LORD said to Elijah: “Move on to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have designated a widow there to provide for you.” (1 Kings 17:7)

You are the light of the world. … Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5:14, 16)

Lord, God of Abraham, God of the Prophets, God of Love, you created us and you call us to live as brothers and sisters.  Give us the strength daily to be instruments of peace; enable us to see everyone who crosses our path as our brother or sister.  Make us sensitive to the plea of our citizens who entreat us to turn our weapons of war into implements of peace, our trepidation into confident trust, and our quarreling into forgiveness.  (Pope Francis)

Have you seen video of Sicilian nun Sr. Christina belting out songs on the Italian television version of “The Voice”?  She is a light not hiding in a basket!  In response to one of the judges, Sr. Christina said “I have a gift and I give it to you.”  She boldly declared that God asks her to evangelize and American pop is her mode of transmission, joy is her message.

Pope Francis’ prayer summit with Palestinian and Israeli Presidents and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was a much subtler light but a beacon none the less.  Not only did they pray communally and individually for peace but each shared prayer from their respective traditions - Jewish, Christian and Islamic – in the heart of the Vatican. 

If we listen, there are other lights shining.  Malala, shot in the face because she advocated for girls’ education, continues her mission with a message of non-violence.  The fathers of a mass murderer and one of his victims sat down together in their mutual loss.  Fr. Richard Martin, former pastor at Nativity Parish raised millions of dollars for Haiti and personally helped build homes there as well.   A dear friend volunteers at Fairfax Hospital visiting the sick with compassion and the gift of Communion.

People question the worth of such gestures.  Critics question the propriety of a nun taking part in a contest.  Analysis of the gathering at the Vatican includes disbelief that it will influence peace talks in the Middle East.  But being the light of the world is not cause and effect.  Elijah was asked to proclaim a drought and to put his faith in God’s command first to hide near a stream then take charity from a poor woman before God pardoned Israel who at last turned back to Him.  God’s glory is to be illumined. 

It is said that even a small flame can be seen from 2 miles away in the dark.  God’s glory is present, do we see it?  Do we reflect it?  Do we trust in it enough to follow God to the ends of our comfort zone?  

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