The Light of the World | iPray with the Gospel (5th Sunday in Ordinary Time)
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
Just as a lantern keeps the light inside and gives out light, so a Christian spreads light that is not his or hers, but God’s. As long as the lantern has the light inside, it is lighting up the atmosphere around it. A Christian, then, is like a lantern, walking in a dark world with a divine light inside; giving light at home, in the streets, in school, on the sports fields, in the shops, on the roads, at university, in their place of work… in every corner of the world that is in the shadows or dimly lit.
A 15-year-old boy wrote this story: “As I was waiting at the school gates one morning, I saw this man pushing a shopping trolley full of scrap metal and junk. I approached him and offered him my sandwich. But when he found out that it was a ‘chorizo sandwich’, he said: “I don’t eat chorizo. I’m a Muslim.” He thanked me anyway and disappeared pushing his trolley. The following day when we met again, I had my ‘cheese sandwich’ ready for him. He was very grateful. He was from Senegal, married with two children. He left his country for political reasons and had to collect junk to get by for the moment. He asked for my email and said goodbye. I didn’t see him again. But two weeks ago I got an email. It was from Abdulla, (that was his name). He was back in his country and now he had a job. He explained that when he was looking for a school for his children, he thought: ‘I want a school like that boy’s one. I want my children to be like him’. He looked on the internet and found out that the school was a Catholic school. He ended his ‘thank you’ letter saying that his children were now attending a Catholic school, and that the whole family was going to be baptised in two weeks.’ That’s a Christian armed with a ‘cheese sandwich’ and a heart shining with Christ’s light in a dark corner of the world. The darker the world becomes, the greater the need for us to keep shining that flame of charity that God has placed in our hearts. Mary, Star of the Sea, keep me aflame with charity!
Rev. George Boronat M.D. S.T.D is a Catholic priest from the Prelature of Opus Dei, working in the Archdiocese of Southwark in London. He is the Chaplain of The Cedars Independent School in Croydon, and also works as Chaplain of Kelston Club & Study Centre (Balham) and Oakwood Independent School (Purley). He has developed his pastoral ministry mainly with young people and is the author of iPray with the Gospel: Resources to Help Young People Pray (www.ipraywiththegospel.org).