9 February – bringing the light of Christ to others

In today’s Gospel Jesus pays a compliment to the disciples. They have reached out with courage and conviction. In sharing the gift of their lives they helped others experience the goodness of God. Following in the footsteps of Christ is our privileged calling but it is a daily challenge for us. All of us have many talents and gifts that we can share with those around us. Today, we are challenged as individuals to co-operate with one another, to become a caring Christian community that reaches out with dignity and compassion. We have all met such people. People who have shown us true kindness, love and respect. We know them to be the salt of the earth.

However it is also true that we can be selfish. We can be greatly influenced by the world in which we live and so push certain people to the margins of life. We often label people, look on them as different, the ‘foreigner’, the ‘traveller’. The challenge is to see beyond the label. To look, label and leave it is not an option for those who follow Christ. Jesus warns against hiding our light under a tub. By our example, we can allow the light of Christ to shine in our lives. In this way we help one another to learn, to see each person as God sees. We are challenged to see the bigger picture, to recognise the dignity of each person, to look beyond the labels that society attaches so easily. It is a daily challenge, because to see it in this way brings with it a responsibility of care.

Our world is full of new ways of communicating. We can have a tendency to hide behind our computer or smartphone screen. How real are our interactions with others online? And when we are spending time with family or friends, are we really present? Are we allowing ourselves the time and space to let the light of the world in, and to allow our own light to shine out? A new way to think about Jesus’ instruction about not hiding our light! May we have the courage to respond to the invitation of the Gospel, and bring the light of Christ to our world by the example of our lives. In this way everyone will be able to recognise the power of the Spirit, active among us, and it will help all of us grow in faith.

(Adapted from Intercom, February 2014)