LIGHT OF FAITH
33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
November 16, 2014
I’m slowly replacing the incandescent light bulbs in my house with LED bulbs. I am doing it “slowly” because they’re expensive. But it’s a good investment. I read the package and determined that the LED I was putting into my reading lamp has a longer life expectancy than I do. Even better, the cost of burning an LED (light emitting diode) is significantly less than the old fashioned light bulb that the electric company used to give away free of charge. So, I can keep more lights on longer and pay much less. During the long winter nights this is a very good thing for many different reasons. Light is very important. Light means life, security, safety, and even joy.
While LEDs offer a bright, clean and cool light source and are a welcomed advance in technology, they are nothing more than the flicker of a firefly when compared to the LIGHT OF FAITH. Pope Francis points out that “The light of faith is unique, because it is capable of illuminating EVERY aspect of human existence.” The Holy Father goes on to point out that: “A light this powerful cannot come from us but from a more primordial source: in a word, it comes from God.”
Pope Francis explains that the LIGHT OF FAITH is so powerful that it illuminates the past so that we can see all that God has revealed, especially in Christ. At the same time, faith makes it easier for us to see the right path…here and now…the path that leads through time and into eternal joy. The Light of Faith even makes it possible to get a glimpse into the future that awaits those who do their best to live in the Light of Christ. There is nothing more important than the LIGHT OF FAITH. The Light of Faith allows us to walk safely through this dangerous world, secure in the hope that we will enjoy ETERNAL LIGHT and LIFE.
Light is indeed important, and so are we! In this Sunday’s Second Reading, St. Paul describes us as “children of the light…children of the day.” This is a way of saying that we are created in the image and likeness of God, and so, when God calls us into being, there is a spark of the Divine within our earthly self, that by the power of the Holy Spirit, in Baptism, bursts into a brilliant beam of glory.
Our Gospel reminds us that God INVESTS this Light in us so that we can share it with the entire world. In a way, we are God’s LEDs. We burn bright and clear…with a life expectancy that is without end. We are the light that enables others who would otherwise exist in darkness…to see what God has done for us in the past, and to walk safely and securely on an illuminated path toward the City of Eternal Light that glows brightly in the distance. We are truly LEDs…LIGHT EMITTING DISCIPLES!
But “Faith is a light, and once the flame of faith dies, all other lights begin to dim.” We cannot allow that to happen. And it won’t! Because, with the help of God’s grace that flows into us freely though our Sacraments…the LIGHT OF FAITH will be continually energized…powered…strengthened…and we can continue to defeat darkness.
I think our school kids say it best when they sing their wonderful little song:
“This little light of mine…l’m gonna let it shine! This little light of mine…I’m gonna let it shine! This little light of mine…I’m gonna let it shine! Let it shine…let it shine…let it shine!” Amen!
(All quotations from Pope Francis are taken from Lumen Fidei, June 2013).