THAT’S WHAT Christ tells us very clearly. “No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a vessel, or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, that those who enter may see the light.” (Lk 8,16) It’s a call for us to be good examples to others and models of goodness for others to follow.
While it’s true that we should try to pass unnoticed and refrain from flaunting our qualities—strutting our stuff, as the young people of today would put it, coining such trendy words as “petmalu, lodi, werpa”—neither should we shy away from the grave responsibility to help create a good environment around by giving good example to others.
A child of God can never refuse to be a guide to others. Christ himself commanded us to be so: “You are the light of the world…Your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds. (Mt 5, 15-16) It’s not a call to arrogance, but a call to selfless service.
Since we are not only individual persons but also social beings, always having some relation with others, we cannot avoid having this duty. We are not meant to be alone, indifferent and detached from others, and especially from God. We are meant to live in communion with others and pumping goodness always to the system, so to speak.
We therefore should not be afraid to be in the limelight. In fact, we have to foster a holy desire to be there. Our understanding of humility and that delicadeza of passing unnoticed should not exclude this need for us to give good example and be modelsof virtues for everyone to see and to hopefully be edified, especially in a world that is increasingly sinking in darkness and confusion.
Obviously we have to do it properly and with the right intention. And that’s because we also know very well of our warped desire to be in the limelight for the wrong reasons. We have the tendency to show off our vanity and frivolity, and to act out our pride, greed, envy, etc. Instead of sowing good things, we can be spreading our unfortunate motives to others.
Perhaps what can be helpful here is for us to regularly bring this topic to our prayer so we can come up with relevant daily strategies in the presence of God and with the right intention. We can also make a regular review of how we are faring in this aspect by considering it in our daily examination of conscience. That way we can hopefully keep the right intention as we give ourselves an example to the others.
We should aim at nothing less than fulfilling what Christ himself once said: “Whoever listens to you listens to Me. Whoever rejects you rejects Me.” (Lk 10,16) This is what is proper to us, since our perfection is when we identify ourselves with Christ as fully as possible.
In this way, we can make as our own these words of Christ: “Whoever believes in Me does not believe in Me alone, but in the One who sent me. And whoever sees Me sees the One who sent Me. I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in Me should remain in darkness.” (Jn 12,44-46)
Are we at least aware that we have to be a light on the lampstand daily?
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