In today’s gospel we hear from Mark that we are not to hide the lamp. Not under a bushel basket, not under a bed, not anywhere. “Is a lamp…not to be placed on a lampstand?” Jesus asks his disciples. Jesus is speaking indirectly about the relationship between the lamp and the light it diffuses. Scripture is about relationship: the Father’s and Jesus’ relationship with me. Scripture also speaks to my relationship with you. Jesus teaches right relationship through the Light. The relationship of the Kingdom, of Love.
I am the lamp and the Spirit, the Light, dwells within me. Jesus says that I am to diffuse the Light of Love, not hide it. If I hide, the Light can not shine.
Has anyone ever said to you, “When you tenderly asked that homeless women her name, you reminded me of someone”? Have I ever said to myself, “What just happened between me and that giggly little boy reminded me of someone”? In a flash, you and I reminded me of…who? Instances, gestures, words more than ‘nice’, more than ‘kind’ – indeed Christ like. So fleeting they are more readily denied than recognized for what they are. Images of Love. Reflections of Jesus, of Father/Mother.
I am fairly sure that no one has ever said such a thing to me. I doubt seriously if I have ever admitted as much neither to myself nor to anyone else. But if it is true that you remind me of Jesus and I remind me of Jesus, why have I not said so – not to you and to me?
I am told I am a child of God. I feel the call, the invitation to live the Kingdom. I desire to do so. Jesus desires me to do so. I am created in Love to do so. In prayerful reflection I experience the peace, calm and assurance that at times – no matter how infrequently, no matter how dimly – I diffuse the Light. Why not say to myself, “In that second, I remind me of Jesus, of my Father/ my mother”? When I experience the Spirit in you, why don’t I say so? Scripture invites me to live the Kingdom, to diffuse the Light and to notice, to recognize and to rejoice in it – whomever, wherever and whenever.
It’s true. Really, it is true. You do remind me and I do remind me of Jesus. Dare I say it?
How awesome is that? Really, how awesome! I am God’s child. I image God. I want to not only live the call of the Kingdom – to struggle to love, but also to rejoice, to praise, and shout to the heavens when you and I live out this call? We are worthy lampshades and the Light is strong, but we need each other if we are to balance on the lampstand.
Mirror, Mirror on the wall,
I am my Mother’s/Father’s daughter/son after all.
By Joan Blandin Howard