“John was a lamp lit and shining and for a time you were content to enjoy the light that he gave.”
The Gospel reading today reminds us of how we, Catholics, were able to easily accept and embrace Jesus Christ as the Son of God. There is no question about Jesus’ stand in our lives. We all believe in him – that’s why we are who we call ourselves to be, Christians. Unlike in the early part of Jesus’ ministry when he had to cite his witnesses for people to believe in him; in this age, one is either Christian or not.
What struck me in the Gospel, however, is when Jesus said, “John was a lamp lit and shining and for a time you were content to enjoy the light that he gave.” [John 5:35] Jesus described John the Baptist as his ‘witness’ very beautifully! John was a lamp – not the light – but the bearer of the light. In room, there are probably many lamps but not all are lit. Some may be broken, or others may simply not be switched on; hence they are not able to give light and shine. They merely serve as decoration.
As Catholics, we are expected to be like a lamp – a bearer of Light. In the Gospel of Matthew, we are exhorted to “bring the light” to others and not hide the lamp under a basket where no one can see our good deeds and glorify the Father. Like John, as Jesus’ disciples, we are expected to bear witness of Jesus. That He is the Only Truth. The world feeds us with pleasurable and short-lived truths but we know that those are not eternal.
Jesus counts on us as his “lamps.” With so much temptation in our lives, being pulled away from the Light, we should not be half-hearted in being the lamp that is lit and shining. We cannot be for-Jesus for a time and be for-something-else another. We cannot be 50-50 or on other times, 60-40.
On this 29th day of Lent, may we truly seek the Light that is Jesus. We can do this through spending an uninterrupted prayer time with him. Let’s take the honor of bearing the Light that gives eternal life not only to ourselves but also to others. May we choose to be the lamp that keeps burning 100% of the time.
I am your lamp, use me to shine and give light to others.
I, myself, may be flawed, but I commit my whole being to bear witness of your greatness.
You have rescued me from the darkness, you have healed me from my brokenness.
I ask your Holy Spirit to let me be that lamp which will bring others out from darkness through your own redeeming light.
Consume me, Lord.