Let Your Light Shine!
We have heard the parable of the lamp many times, but let’s look at it in a new way. Let these words sink in as though this is the first time we have heard them. Jesus said: ‘You are the light for the whole world. A city built on top of a hill cannot be hidden, and no one lights a lamp and puts it under a clay pot. Instead, it is placed on a lampstand, where it can give light to everyone in the house. Make your light shine, so others will see the good you do and praise your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16).
Staff Service Day
This week, Santa Maria staff took part in a Service Day. The day commenced with a beautiful Mass in the chapel, celebrated by the Most Reverend Barry Hickey, Emeritus Archbishop of Perth. The theme of the mass was ‘Called to Serve’. The Gospel reading recalled the last meal Jesus had with His disciples. Before sharing the bread and wine with them, Jesus washed the feet of His disciples and told them to do the same. Staff then used Jesus’ humble example of service to His disciples to serve the need of the community.
After Mass, Staff engaged in several service activities with the aim of making a difference in the world. From cooking for the homeless, creating language resources for adult refugees, sewing art smocks and library bags for refugee kids, to creating eco-justice products, staff used their gifts and time to heed the call of Jesus to be a ‘light for the world’.
Everyone is called to serve
It really does not matter how old or young you are, nor what your talents or abilities are. It also does not matter what your relationship status is or how much money you have. As disciples of Jesus, we are called wherever we are to be a light for others. ‘Each of you has been blessed with one of God’s many wonderful gifts to be used in the service of others. So, use your gift well’ (1 Peter: 4:10).
What does it mean to be a light for others, and what does it look like?
In the passage from the Prophet Isaiah (58), God asks us to share our bread with the hungry, to shelter the oppressed and the homeless, and clothe the naked. Then ‘our light shall break forth like the dawn, and our wounds shall quickly be healed’ (Isaiah 58:7). Additionally, our justification will go before us, and God will be our protector.
When we selflessly give ourselves to the world in humble service, God will hear our cry for help when we call on Him. If we can remove oppression, false accusations, and malicious speech from our midst, feed the hungry and satisfy the afflicted, then God’s light will rise for us in the darkness, and the gloom will become like midday
When does our light shine?
Our light shines when:
- we care for others and lift the poor and vulnerable.
- we desire the goodness of God to reign over our lives and the whole world.
- we choose to love and sacrifice.
- we choose to care and advocate for the weak.
- we weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice.
When we lovingly give to those in need, we shine God’s light into the world and become part of the salvation story.
At the end of every mass, the priest or deacon has the option of dismissing us by saying: “Go in peace glorifying the Lord by your life”. How can we go forth and glorify God with our lives? By being attentive to the needs of others, we can look for practical ways to offer our assistance. So, let us pray that we will be inspired to hear God’s word in new ways and answer His call to be a light for the world.
Jillian Landers, Mission Leader