Gospel Reflection — Matthew 5:13-16
It is no secret that there is a crisis of faith in the Catholic Church here in Canada. Less people come to Mass, less people practice their faith, and more and more people openly attack and rebuke the Church. It is becoming harder and harder to be openly Catholic in our day to day lives. The few of us who remain who practice our faith are often afraid to show it in public. We’re even embarrassed to make the sign of the cross when saying grace at a restaurant. Even to simply tell someone that we are Catholic often leaves us open to ridicule. “Why would anyone practice such an archaic and outdated faith?” “Hasn’t science already proven that God doesn’t exist?” “How could you believe in a Church full of so many scandals and abuses?” We are led to believe more and more that our faith is a private practice, something to be reserved only within the confines of the Church on Sundays, and that to even so much as talk about your faith publicly is offensive.
Things will only get worse if we do not heed what is in the Gospel today. Jesus says that we are the light of the world, a city set on a hill. We are not to be put under a bushel basket and hidden. “Let your light shine before men“. Jesus is clear: we cannot be silent, we cannot hide our faith and simply hope for things to get better. How could we ever expect the world to change if we simply give in to it!? Jesus has given us a clear mission, and that is to practice our faith at all times, everywhere. When Jesus says that we are a city set on a hill, He means that we are an example to the world, just like the Jews on mount Zion were an example to all the Gentiles. That is what we have been called to do. That is our mission.
And in case there is any confusion, and you might think it is enough to just be willing to live your faith quietly without stirring the pot too much, Jesus did not say that we are a light to be put into a small room. We are not a light for just certain occasions when the timing seems right. No, Jesus said we are a light that is a city set on a hill! Such a light is meant to be seen by all, even those who do not care for the light. That is the point. A light is bound to attract and be swarmed by undesired insects, but the light still continues to shine. If you’re thinking to yourself, “how can I possibly stand up against such darkness that is prevalent in the world today?”
Fear not, take courage, for the light is not your own. The light is Christ Himself. The light is the fire of the Holy Spirit. The light is the love of the Father pouring out for you without end. Keep this one truth in mind: God is all that you truly need, and He will never abandon you. When we look at the examples of the saints, especially the martyrs, they were often busy singing hymns and praising God while they were being hacked to pieces, and somehow they hardly noticed that such wounds were being inflicted on them. That is because they always kept God before them, relying on Him ultimately, knowing that He supplied their every need. How could anyone truly cause you any harm then? Sure people can mock you, they can hate you, but that can hurt you only if you believe that your worth comes from what they think of you. If you see your value in the eyes of God, and how He loves you, then everything else becomes trivial.
I guess what I’m saying is DO NOT BE AFRAID TO LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE BEFORE THE WORLD!!! This is your mission! This is your calling! We have the best news of all, so why should we hide from the world that joy which we have found in Jesus? You don’t have to be a major theologian, you just have to love. Love Jesus first, fall madly in love, fall desperately in love, and then do what comes naturally! When you’re madly in love with someone, you can’t keep it in, you just want to tell everybody about it. You show it in everything you do, in the way you walk, in the light of your eyes. Just let yourself shine.
Posted on June 12, 2012, in Catholic, Evangelization, faith, Scripture and tagged challenge, city, crisis, evangelization, evangelize, faith, hill, light, love, oppression, persecution, shine. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.