In today’s Gospel we hear the familiar story of Jesus telling us not to hide our “light” under a vessel, a box or the bed but rather to place the light where it will allow others safe passage as they enter the room. Doing this seems like a no brainer. Don’t we always light a light so that it gives light to the whole room? Why is telling us this so important to Jesus?
There is another parable in Luke’s Gospel, in chapter 19 to be exact, the Parable of the Ten Coins that seems to focus on the same message. A nobleman is going on a journey, so he calls in ten servants and makes each one responsible for one coin. When he returns each servant comes forward to give an accounting of what he has done with the coin. One servant does nothing with his coin, in fact, he hides the coin in a handkerchief because he is afraid of the master. Both parables, the candle and the coins, speak to the same teaching, that we are to share our gifts so that we can help make the Kingdom of God present in the here and now.
Both parables also end with an ominous warning: “To everyone who has, more will be given; from those who have not, even what they seem to have will be taken away.” The servant who buried his coin rather than investing it like the others is sternly dealt with, he loses everything or to put it in terms of today’s parable, his light goes out and he is left with darkness. This is not about gaining or losing wealth, it is about gaining or losing the Kingdom of God. It is about living in the eternal light or being in the darkness outside where there is wailing and grinding of teeth.
Jesus is using an analogy to talk about discipleship, he is not discussing candles and coins. The candlelight and the coins are the gifts and talents we have been given to be used for building the Kingdom of God in the here and now. They can be our skills, our talents, our relationships, our experiences of life, the blessings that we have received. The challenge is what do we do with them? Do we hide them away? Do we live in fear of God? Or do we invest them? Do we light our lamp, or candle and place it on a stand in the middle of the room so that it gives light to all? Do we share the person God has created us to be?
If we trust in our relationship with God. If we trust in ourselves then we will not hide our gifts but share them so that we and others will encounter the presence of God. By lighting our light for all, by sharing our gifts we welcome God into our hearts and share his Kingdom!
Have a blessed Monday everyone and may the Passion of Jesus Christ be always in your heart! Peace in Christ’s Passion…Fr. Paul