Light and Shadows

Scripture Reading

Jesus said to his disciples,
“Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket
or under a bed,
and not to be placed on a lampstand?
For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible; 
nothing is secret except to come to light.
Anyone who has ears to hear ought to hear.”
He also told them, “Take care what you hear.
The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you, 
and still more will be given to you.
To the one who has, more will be given; 
from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”

(Mark 4:21-25)

 

Scripture Study

4:21. A “bushel” was a container used for measuring cereals and vegetables. It held a little over eight liters (two gallons).

4:22. This parable contains a double teaching. Firstly, it says that Christ’s doctrine should not be kept hidden; rather, it must be preached throughout the whole world. We find the same idea elsewhere in the Gospels: “What you hear whispered, proclaim it upon the housetops” (Mt 10:27); “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the whole of creation …” (Mk 16:15). The other teaching is that the Kingdom which Christ proclaims has such ability to penetrate all hearts that, at the end of time, when Jesus comes again, not a single human action, in favor or against Christ, will not become public and manifest (cf. Mt 25:31–46).

4:24–25. Our Lord never gets tired of asking the apostles, the seeds which will produce the Church, to listen carefully to the teaching he is giving: they are receiving a treasure for which they will be held to account.[1]

Scripture Reflection

Today’s Gospel shows how the light of Christ affects our lives. Well, light is wonderful in the measure that it illumines and brightens and delights. But light can also be disconcerting. Think of how bad most of us look in direct light! I discovered this while filming the CATHOLICISM series. I much prefer the indirect light that you can produce indoors. The full glare of the sun reveals every flaw, imperfection, and peculiarity of your face.

Think of what happens when you suddenly shine a light into a dark corner in your basement or down a lonely alley. The bugs and the vermin reveal themselves. Unsavory things scurry about for cover, afraid of the light.

When you invite Jesus into your life, you are inviting the light into your life. Again, this is wonderful, but it is also frightening. Jesus will shine his light in every corner of your life, in every room of your house. Things that look okay in the dark or in the indirect light will suddenly stand out in all of their unpleasantness.

– Bishop Robert Barron

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV. 

 

[1] Saint Mark’s Gospel, The Navarre Bible (Dublin; New York: Four Courts Press; Scepter Publishers, 2005), 73.