Thursday, January 29, 2015

Light Up!

By Beth DeCristofaro

Brothers and sisters:…Since through the Blood of Jesus we have confidence of entrance into the sanctuary…let us approach with a sincere heart and in absolute trust,…Let us hold unwaveringly to our confession that gives us hope … (Hebrews 10:19, 22, 23)

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.  (Mark 4:21-22)

Lord, (we are) the people that longs to see your face.  (from Psalm 24:6)

At different times in prayer groups or retreats I’ve pondered, laughed about, prayed on, and recognized how this image is realized in my life.  Looking for well-lit lamps yields so many wonderful examples and models.  The March for Life last week shines a light for life and justice.  Pope Francis embraces a man with an unpleasant illness and an outcast.  A friend cares for her very elderly, ill grandparent while providing childcare for a niece’s baby.  A home health aide buys ties out of his own salary so that man with dementia may feel dignified.  A teenager brings me a hand written thank you note because I welcomed him into my home when his house was locked up tight on a sub-zero afternoon.  He lights up my afternoon!  Nine brave young men sat with non-violent resistance at a whites-only lunch counter and they began to change a culture.

I hope and trust that Jesus is who fuels the wick of my faith and action.  But a lamp alone is just a lamp.  Jesus’s Church surrounds me, aiding with the care and maintenance of my lamp so I don’t end up like one of the foolish virgins who let their lamps run dry.  We are the people who long to see (His) face and one of the ways I recognize Him is in the faces around me.  God’s presence is in each and every person, hidden only to be made visible for those who see and those who hear. 

St. Theresa of Avila said “The soul of the just person is nothing else but a paradise where the Lord says He finds His delight.”  How can we not have absolute trust when we are afforded such an individual attention from our God?  We are light in the darkness because our souls are illumined with God’s presence.  Look deeply at someone today.  See her/his Christ lamp burning however brightly or feebly.  Pray for her/him.

Look deeply into your own eyes in the mirror.  See Christ’s illumination within.

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