Monday, September 24, 2012
Today’s good news is from Luke 8:16-18.
“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.”
This section of Luke is a series of parables and sayings that focuses on how people are to receive and understand God’s word. The first verse here is addressed to those who have received the word and the wisdom of God. Once I understand the word of God I am meant to be a light so that others may likewise find God. I am meant to light the way so that others don’t have to fumble in the darkness searching for a door, don’t have to walk in circles with no one to guide them, don’t have to stumble over obstacles hidden in the dark. I am meant to live my life in joy, confident of God’s love and humble in my service to others so that the divine light of Jesus shines through me. That’s quite a test of my transparency and sincerity!
I take the second verse to mean that the scriptures, the word of God, aren’t riddles or coded messages. By reflecting on God’s word for me and considering what others have to offer, I can understand the meaning for myself. There is nothing secret or so complex that it can only be revealed be a priest or scholar. The scriptures were written for ordinary people like me, not for a select few. They were written to guide and encourage each of us in our quest to know God, to establish the kingdom of God. It may take effort on my part, but God will reveal His will and will “en-lighten” me.
The last verse seems to be an exhortation to continually seek to know God’s word and its implications for my life. My journey through life has many milestones and twists and turns. Each step along the way God speaks to me, guides me, and lights my way forward. My understanding and interpretation of His word changes daily depending on where I am in my journey and what my needs or troubles may be. I don’t think it’s possible that I can ever wring out the full meaning of His word. It’s not because the meaning is only partly revealed and partly hidden; it’s not because He wants to keep some things secret or keep me in the dark. He is constant. I am the one who changes day by day. That’s why I need to keep receiving and trying to understand His word for me every day. He has more to give me, more to reveal. Those times in the past when I have stopped hearing and reading His word, the darkness of night has fallen around me and I have wandered aimlessly unable to see ahead. His voice in my ear has quieted to a whisper, sometimes becoming inaudible. It’s not that He has taken anything away; it’s that I have turned my face from Him.
When I am turned and tuned to Him, He gives me more. Life seems to be incredibly abundant with sensations, with opportunities, with love, with happiness, with good fortune, with acceptance of life as it is. Those times produce moments like yesterday at Mass when I felt infused with His overwhelming love, when I seemed to hear every word of the readings and prayers and homily. When God seemed so close that I felt lost in Him as if the boundary between us dissolved. Tears of joy welled in my eyes. Those are moments that I treasure and desire to experience again and again and moments that He wants to share with me again and again.