25th Week in Ordinary Time – Januarius
1st Reading: Pro 3:27-34
Refuse no one the good on which he has a claim when it is in your power to do it for him. Say not to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give,” when you can give at once. Plot no evil against your neighbor, against one who lives at peace with you. Quarrel not with a man without cause, with one who has done you no harm. Envy not the lawless man and choose none of his ways: To the LORD the perverse one is an abomination, but with the upright is his friendship. The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked, but the dwelling of the just he blesses; When dealing with the arrogant, he is stern, but to the humble he shows kindness.
Gospel: Lk 8:16-18
Jesus said to the crowd: “No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel or sets it under a bed; rather, he places it on a lampstand so that those who enter may see the light. For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible, and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light. Take care, then, how you hear. To anyone who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he seems to have will be taken away.”
LIGHT OF CHRIST: Christ himself is the light of the world. By his passion, death and resurrection, he redeemed us. Through his words and actions, he showed us how to live as children of God and witnesses of the Kingdom. Having been transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of his beloved Son, it is expected of us to reflect the kingdom where we belong. Our Christian vocation is linked with shinning in the light of Christ. There is no authentic Christian witnessing if we hide the light under a vessel. Pondering on the mood of the world today, the way of life that wins approval, the ends that people pursue, what counts for greatness, and so on, one might get discouraged to speak about Christianity. Christ reminds us that the light lit in us has to shine for that is its purpose.
Prayer – Lord, grant us the courage to be witnesses.
THE WORD OF GOD IS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD: Focusing on the Kingdom of God, Jesus gives the parable of lamp. A light should not be kept under a cover. Rather it should be on a lampstand for it to shine. This reading invites us to be lamps. It calls on us to stand on lampstands so that our virtuous actions may shine upon all. May the Word of God that we receive allow us to stand up high and proclaim it in deed and words. St. Andrew Kim the first Korean priest demonstrated this act of receiving the light of Christ and sharing it with others. Together with his companion, they showed courage as they preached Christ to a point of losing their earthly lives for Christ. They did so in humility and self-giving. Let us follow their example of humility and fear of God.
RULES OF CHRISTIAN LIFE: The first rule of Christian life is the visibility of Christian life. Faith of a Christian has to be noticeable and the gifts have to be put into practice. Jesus is telling us to use our faith to direct others to see Him as their Saviour. The world should see Jesus through us. It is a challenge to us Christians to be the examples for others, especially those who have not received the good news of the Gospel. The second rule is openness. Our heart and mind have to be open to God and to others. Someone can hide the truth for his or her personal gain. One who is not open is unhappy. Even when we try to hide, God always watches us (Gen 16:13). The third rule of Christian life is that anyone who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he seems to have will be taken away. Those who search for God and truth tirelessly will find them and they are transformed into true witness of God and the Gospel.