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Father Muench Says...

Called to be a light to the world

February 19, 2020

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

I like the imagery Jesus often uses of asking us to be light and salt. He challenges us to be the light of the world – may our light shine forth the love and joy of our God. May we be the salt that puts new life into all that we do.
When I think of light, I am reminded of so many wonderful people, family and friend and parishioners, who continually bring wisdom and understanding to me every day by being light to me and by bringing the light of the Lord to me.

You see, there are many days I am trapped in ignorance and darkness of not realizing that there are many who need me today, people who need my attention and who need my love. I notice that some days end up in darkness because there were so many things I should have done, opportunities missed for bringing God’s love and joy to someone. It’s often someone I see every day, yet I failed to realize how much love and concern they need.

I have come to understand that Jesus knows how needy I am, and so the Lord brings light into my life, so that I can be light to others. Today I think of a high school student who knows how to be a light through little things – saying the right things and bothering to take a moment for friendly conversation. This young man is a gift from the Lord. By the way, I must tell you that he is blind, born blind, yet he knows how to be a light and how to bring light to many, like me.

He is not a once in a lifetime example. Every day something happens, or someone comes along who brings light into my world – becoming a light from Jesus for so many others. Have you ever had a one-year-old child smile at you? I did today. I suspect you can add many such examples of lights to your life.

So, Jesus constantly asks us to be a light to our world, a light for others. I have noticed that it is all about the little things. As we strive to do the simple, little things as well as we can, we transform ourselves to become a light to our world. Someone once told me that a saint is someone who does ordinary things extraordinarily well.

Here is one more example for you: When I think of being a light for the world, I think of Pope Francis. Pope Francis remembers each one of us in his wonderful homilies and writings. He always knows what we need. He realizes the challenges that face his people throughout the world. Thank you, Lord, for sending Pope Francis to us.

St. Paul writes to the Ephesians, “You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth. Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.” Jesus says to us, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lamp stand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”

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