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.”
8:16–18 The parable of the lamp explains Jesus’ teaching strategy, where the mysteries of the kingdom will be hidden from the multitudes only temporarily. With the birth of the New Covenant Church, they will finally come to light (8:17; 12:2–3). Morally St. Augustine in De Quaest, speaks of Jesus encouraging boldness in evangelical preaching. “No minister of the gospel should conceal the light of truth beneath earthly fears of persecution. The faithful servant puts Christ’s lamp in full view, displaying his truth for the benefit of all.”
8:18 Take care: Jesus attaches great responsibility to his message (12:48). The blessings of God’s truth must be treasured and shared, since whoever neglects or ignores them will lose them.
Friends, today’s Gospel is the parable of the lamp, which placed on a lampstand gives light to all. Light obviously isn’t for itself. Rather, we see things by it. It illuminates things upon which it shines.
We are light by which people around us come to see what is worth seeing. By the very quality and integrity of our lives, we shed light, illumining what is beautiful and revealing what is ugly. The clear implication is that without vibrant Christians the world is a much worse place. Let me illustrate this principle with an example. One of the most painful truths of the last century is that the weakness of Christian witness allows some of the worst elements in society to flourish.
Think of the rise of the evil powers that created WWII. Christianity had become so weak, so uncompelling, so attenuated that great evil was allowed to flourish. Yes indeed there were a handful of powerful Christian resisters, but let’s face it: the overwhelmingly vast majority of Christians either supported Hitler or remained in silence, either out of fear or indifference.
– Bishop Robert Barron
May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.