Let it Shine!
Light, whether natural or artificial, from the sun or from a light bulb, both play a very important part in our everyday lives. Essentially light helps us to see, making things visible as it casts out darkness. Without light, our lives would be drastically different, unnatural, and who knows, maybe even very unrealistic. I know that for myself, I probably wouldn’t be able to survive without light and therefore it becomes a necessity in my life. As humans we not only need light to live but we also thirst for a different Light. This Light is Jesus! Throughout the Bible and especially in the Gospels we are constantly reminded of the one true Light. In the Gospel of John Jesus says, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12) When we unpack what He is trying to tell us, we become aware of a beautiful reality.
Jesus calls us to follow Him and when we do so WE also have the Light of life. Even though following Jesus is not easy, there is clearly nothing to regret. As Christians, we want to be striving to walk with Jesus in our everyday lives, when we do so we are given the supernatural graces we need to become better Christians and to avoid sin. This beautiful reality is that when we decide to follow the Light, we also start to carry the Light in our lives. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says: “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) Lately, this verse has really spoken to me and has had an impact on my life. Dwelling in the Lord’s Light is a true gift He gives to those who choose to follow Him. However, not only is it a blessing, but it is also a responsibility. The Lord calls each one of us to use the Light of life dwelling in us to give glory to Him in all that we do. This can simply be done by sharing our faith with others or setting a Christ-like example in our lives in order to let the Light shine through us.
Jesus calls us to be the Light, he calls us by name to step out of our comfort zones and to really share the beauty of a life centred on Him. He calls us to be disciples and to spread the good news. And although it can be though He never asks us for something that we can’t give. We have the Holy Spirit there to give us the courage, the wisdom and the knowledge in order to be able to spread the faith in a way that glorifies Him.
This past summer I attended a Steubenville Conference run by the Franciscan University of Steubenville, which is a weekend retreat for Catholic youth. At this retreat one of the speakers was talking about the importance of evangelization. He shared that something so simple we could say to ask God to let us spread the Light is “God, please help me to be a little tiny light in my high school.” This one sentence has changed my perspective on evangelization. The point is that we don’t have to be a huge light, all we need to be is a little tiny light, just enough so that we are courageously able to spread the Lord’s love, even if it may be to only one person at a time.When we do so, others will be able to see Christ through us. Ultimately, this is what the Lord desires of us; He wants us to be His hands and feet, to love like He did so that we may be reflection of Him.
Essentially this is how the Saints became Saints, by simply being a small source of God’s love and joy during their lives on Earth. St. John Paul II constantly reminds us: “Be not afraid.”
We have no need to fear what the Lord calls of us. St. Therese’s little way is so inspiring, she states: “Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word, always doing the smaller right and doing it all for Love.” In the end it is really not the size of our deeds when trying to spread the Light but the amount of love we put into doing it that matters. This is when all glory will be given to Our Father in heaven and others will be truly able to see the face of Christ in our ordinary lives.
The Light that is Jesus is also a necessity to our lives, without Him and His Light we simply don’t have life. Our spiritual lives wouldn’t be alive. After all, darkness is not a thing but rather the absence of a thing; the absence of light. Therefore, why would we choose to live a life with the absence of a necessity? It just doesn’t make sense. Not only does a life that follows Jesus, receive His light but it also has purpose and meaning. You and I are called to be bearers of the Light! This is a big responsibility but the Holy Spirit has all the power we need to make it happen! Are you up for the challenge?