Luke 8: 16-18
Ezra 1: 1-6 / Psa 126
…consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they think they have will be taken from them.
Let our lamps dispel the darkness,
Drive evil away where it thrives,
Live a life of truth and goodness;
And let God’s Word shine in our lives.
“No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they think they have will be taken from them.” (Luke 8:16-18)
In today’s Gospel of Luke, I believe Jesus was addressing this allegory of a lighted lamp to all generations of Christians, and not only to His followers/disciples at the time. “Lighting a lamp” means becoming a Christian or follower of Jesus. We need to be enlightened in order to spread God’s brightness and dispel the darkness of evil. A true Christian has nothing to hide. Nor is he so ashamed or afraid that he will hide under a bed! This is another parable that our Lord uses to condition the minds and hearts of His disciples about their evangelistic calling. This is similar to His earlier parable of the sower, where His disciples must be like fertile soil so that the seed of God’s Word can produce a hundredfold. In the same way, the brighter the lamp of our calling, the more people we can lead to Christ.
Put in another way, we are beacons of light whenever we join the cause of fighting for the truth. As God’s lamps, He employs us so that “nothing is hidden that will not be disclosed, nor is anything secret that will not become known and come to light.” Our Brotherhood’s advocacy for honesty has made inroads into the darkness of corruption in a number of government agencies as well as in the business sector. Many of our community’s billboards and streamers in the country’s urban centers declare our stand: “Be Honest even if others are not, even if others will not, even if others cannot.”
Jesus’ message is clear: “To those who have, more will be given; and from those who do not have, even what they seem to have will be taken away.” Unless we fight for honesty and truth, letting the Gospel values shine in our life, we will lose even the veneer of integrity that we appear to possess. Only those who strive to follow His way, spread His truth, and live His life will continue to grow spiritually, gaining more of God’s gifts and graces. In another sense, Jesus may also be telling us that if we have the motivation to share His Word and proclaim His kingdom, He will give us more wisdom in order to become more fruitful. However, if we do not grasp this opportunity, our understanding of the Gospel will diminish and our faith will never prosper.
Jesus is warning us that we cannot afford to ignore His call – we cannot hide our lamp in a vessel, or put it under a bed. We cannot refuse an offer to declare God’s miracle in our life by giving a life testimony, just as we cannot accept bribe money to give a false testimony in court. His light must shine in our life in every opportunity. Consider carefully how you listen!
Lord, fill our hearts and minds with Your light and truth, and disperse the darkness of sin and deception that we may see the way to You clearly, and discern Your will in our lives. May we radiate your light and truth to others in word and deed. Amen.