“If you light a lamp for someone else, it will also brighten your path.” ~ Buddha
“No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket.” This message from the Gospel of Matthew was one of my earliest remembrances of Gospel stories as a child. I remember visualizing that. I have to tell you that my visualizations led to many homesteads being burned to the ground because I imagined the basket catching on fire and the fire burning out of control. Yeah, my mind went to some weird places when I was young. Okay. It still does; but, that’s an issue for another day.
I would always think that was so strange. Yes, why would a person light a lamp only to cover it up. A lamp is meant to give light to a place. Covering the lamp defeats the purpose of lighting the lamp. It was all very intuitive to the young child that I was. Apparently, it is not as intuitive to adults. We need to be reminded that we are lights set into this world of ours for the purpose of burning brightly so as to give light to others who may need to see.
God has given us a great gift of faith. It is up to us to nurture said faith. When we nurture it, we provide a light for others to follow. In doing so, we benefit from the light as well since it illumines our path. If we fail to keep our light burning brightly, that may mean that we have also quit associating with other lights. When that happens, we end up living in a darkened world. A darkened world may mean that we lose our way to the Kingdom. If that happens, we truly may become lost.
How can we keep the light of faith burning bright? Praying. Reading the Bible. Reading other spiritual books. Studying the lives of the saints. Performing the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. Visiting the Blessed Sacrament. Going to and participating at Mass. Sharing the faith with others in Bible study or other faith sharing groups. Associating with other believers. These suggestions are merely there to prime the pump. I am sure that you can think of many others as well.
It is not easy being a light to the world. The world wants to put us under a basket. It doesn’t want the light to be shone to others and, therefore, we might be met with resistance. If that is the case, turn the crank and burn brighter. The world may not want to see the light; but, the people in the world need that light to illumine the way to the Kingdom. Burn brightly this day.
FAITH ACTION: Don’t be afraid to let your light shine today. Someone may need it to guide their way.