Jesus tells us in today’s Gospel Reading,
“…you are the light of the world…your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly father.”
No doubt we all recognize this as a call to discipleship. But this not the discipleship of talkers, but the discipleship of ‘doers’ — those who take action. We are not called to be passive believers in Jesus. Jesus wants us to be more — active believers.
Every Gospel message has within it one core, and sometimes unspoken, request – “Respond.” There must be a response to Christ. When we say we ‘believe,’ that belief must be more than talk. Jesus’ teachings – the Gospel, the Scriptures all call us to Stewardship – a recognition that all that we have, all that we are, is a blessing and given us for a purpose. Certainly it is our responsibility and privilege to use those gifts for the benefit of our families; but it is also our obligation to share those gifts with the Church and others. Here and many times before, we hasten to point out that this is much more than financial support, though it is that; it is putting our faith in action.
Becoming true, strong, faithful disciples is putting our faith in action by what we do, how we act in public, how we treat those poorest among us, whether our faith is ‘true faith’ or dead faith. Faith without action is dead faith, faith with action is discipleship.
St. Teresa of Calcutta once said, “To keep a lamp burning you have to keep putting oil in it.” What we put into our lamps of discipleship is action, loving God with all of our hearts, mind and strength.
Jesus calls our lights to shine. Indeed they will shine, but will they shine to bring glory to our Heavenly Father or will they shine to show us hypocritical (speak one thing and do another) and bring him dishonor?
What if… the members of San Juan Mission were the only Catholics left? Would others see our good deeds that glorify our Heavenly Father? Would we be the seed of faith that restores the Kingdom?
~ Deacon Paul