Monday of the 25th Week of the Year

Luke 8:16-18

The Parable of the Lamb

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES:

We have received the light of the faith when we became Christians. The candle lighted after our baptism symbolizes this truth. And here the parable begins to speak to us. What do we do with the light of our faith? Many of us hide it conveniently, for to let our faith shine through our lives is a great responsibility. And in modern, more and more secularized society, to show one’s faith in daily life might invite ridicule. “My faith is my private affair,” many think or say.  “NO!!!” Jesus responds, “Your faith is not your private affair. It must shine in your family, in your neighborhood, in your neighborhood, in your place, in your society, in your country.”

I think this applies especially to the Philippines. We are surrounded by non-Christian countries. But are the Japanese, the Chinese, the Indians and the people of the other great and small Asian nations attracted to Christ and his message because they are drawn to the light of Christ, shining in us, like moths attracted to the light?

Today’s parable tells us exactly this: Your good example as Christians, the light of your Christian life, must shine brightly.

Don’t think of it as difficult. Just imagine that through your good example, through your faith, somebody finds Christ and is brought to faith in Christ. (Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD Bible Diary 2002)

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I know of an honest judge who had resigned from his post because he could not accept the fact that apportion had been legalized in his own country. He lost his job, a loser in the eyes of the world, but great in the eyes of God. The Christian, however humble his position and his sphere, must never be ashamed to show his colors.

Our gospel reads: “No one lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel or sets it under a bed; rather, he places it on a lamp stand so that those who enter may see the light.” Christianity is, in its very nature, something which must be seen. It is easy to find prudential reasons why we should not flaunt our Christianity in the world’s face. In almost every person there is an instinctive fear of being different; and the world is is always likely to persecute those who do not conform to pattern.

Examining ourselves before our Creator, are we also ashamed to show our Christian faith when we see most of the people around us have become secularized? How do we go about issues that threaten Christian family values, issues that are abominable in God’s sight and yet acceptable in our secularized society? Do we just sit back and do nothing about it? What about television shows and X-rated films that endanger the morals of our children? We pride ourselves to be the only Christian country in Asia, but what kind of Christianity are we witnessing to, with all the graft and corruption among our politicians, the extreme poverty among our people, all the kidnappings, robberies left and right, etc?

It is never too late to pray daily for our country, to ask God to make this country of ours His “house” in Asia, and become a beacon light in the Far East. Let us start being good neighbors to people around us, to show the “Face of Christ” to all we meet; first of all, by putting on the mind of Christ, seeing everyone as brothers and sisters in the Lord. With our minds purified, it will be easier to love others as Christ has loved! Then we might be able to hear them say of us, like unto the first Christians: “See how they love one another.” (SSpSAP Bible Diary 2004

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One of my formators who helped and inspired me a lot in becoming a religious was the late Fr. Alphonse Mildner, SVD my former novice master. He was a very pious man. If he was not in his room he was in the chapel praying. When I was a seminarian I had a fear in entering the office or rooms of my superiors but with him I felt so at home. He was warm and fatherly. When I had a crisis in the novitiate he had the patience to listen with compassion, and the wisdom to guide me. He was instrumental in my development of a personal relationship with Christ during my novitiate years. For me he was the lighted lamp on a lamp stand “so that those who enter my see the light.”

A small child was taken to a cathedral. She sat watching the sun shining through the windows. She asked her mother, “What are these people on the windows?” “They are saints,” was the answer. Then the child said, “Now I know what saints are. They are the people who let the light shine through.” (Vima Dasan, SJ).

The gospel concludes, “To anyone who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he seems to have will be taken away.” It is natural that if one has a talent in singing and he/she keeps on practicing his/her voice will become more beautiful. If one has a little talent and she/he does not use it or he/she will eventually lose it. The best way to develop, preserve and multiply our God-given talents is to share them with others. great artists, scientists, leaders, social workers who shared what they had are remembered forever. (Fr. Titus Mananzan, SVD Bible Diary 2005)

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A woman’s car stopped in the middle of a busy street. She raised the hood and began a futile search for the problem. Motorists swerved around her blowing their horns and hurling bad words at her. The woman counted over a hundred cars that passed her by, before someone paused, rolled down his window and asked if she needed help. The proverb says: “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it,” (3:27). Perhaps many were too busy to stop, but the Word of God goes on to say: “Do not say to your neighbor, ‘tomorrow I will give’ when you have it with you now. Implying that each of us like a lamp, Jesus says: “No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a vessel.” Jesus wants us not to hide the lamp of goodness, but let it shine before others, in response to God’s goodness to us. In the office of the grade school principal hangs a poster with these words on it: “My life shall touch a dozen lives before this day is done; shall leave countless marks for good or ill before sets this evening sun; so this is the wish I always wish: let my life help the other lives it touches by the way.” (Fr. Eliseo YYance, SVD Bible Diary 2006)

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In 2002, I was privileged to visit the catacombs in Rome. Down these underground places, clay lamps dot the narrow pathways, burial vaults and small chambers – proof that that early Christians used to carry them whenever they entered the catacombs. Understandably, the lamp was a very important commodity then because it was the only source of light. Today, the catacombs are properly lighted by electric bulbs.

In the gospel, the Lord says: ‘No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel or sets it under a bed; rather, he places it on a lamp stand so that those who enter may see the light.” Obviously, Jesus is speaking in a metaphorical way to stress the importance of witnessing and giving good example. Certainly, when people see our good deeds, we become true to our calling as the “light of the world, salt of the earth.”

How can we become a lamp to others? First, we have to know the purpose of our life here on earth. Life becomes useless and meaningless unless we know why we are here on earth. St. Ignatius of Loyola summarizes the purpose of man in these words: “To know Him, praise Him, serve Him, love Him and finally be with Him”. I believe that when our fundamental option is geared to this purpose, we are surely on the right path towards holiness and perfection. Definitely, our life would become meaningful! Meaning lights up our life.

Secondly, a lamp must have oil and wick so that it can produce and sustain light. So also with our life as Christians; we need the written word of God as guidance. No wonder that Christ has pointed this out today: “Take care, then, how you hear”. It challenges us to carefully read, study, reflect and live the Scriptures. (Fr. Jerome Cayetano, SVD Bible Diary 2007)

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Before the Philippine countryside developed electricity in the 1970s, we subsisted nightly on the popular Petromax, a paraffin pressure lamp invented in 1910 by Max Gaertz of Berlin. People from individual households, fishing villages, and even rural ballrooms (the so-called discoral) were largely dependent on this magical lamp. As a child, I loved to observe in awe that shining moment’ when my father would pressure-pump the Petromax lamp to produce its glowing light. He would light it, then suspend it from the ceiling over the dining table. I often wondered how so small an amount of vaporized paraffin could light up the whole house for such a long period of time.

I cannot imagine my father lighting our Petromax and setting it under the bed only to eventually burn the house down. Thanks be to God my father is not a pyromaniac! Just as Jesus says in today’s gospel reading, no one in his right mind would light a lamp and hide it or set it under a bed. This can apply to our personal gifts, those charisms given to us by God for which we are accountable. When we conceal, neglect or misuse our talents and abilities, we defeat their purpose, serve no one and end up wasting them. The gospel reminds us to use our endowments and gifts in an accountable, visible and transparent way lest they be taken away from us.

Our greatest gift is the light of Christ which we have been given freely. He does not want us to keep this great gift to ourselves. As His disciples, we are to be beacons of light to the nations, His lumen gentium. There is no such thing as a closet Christian. Letting His light shine through us does not mean we have to be bible-thumpers or Jesus-pushers; it does not mean we have to wear rosaries on our necks or crosses as accessories. It is so much more than that. Whether at home, at work, at school or at play, everyone should know we are the Lord’s disciples by what we say, what we do, and by who we are. In other words, we must be ‘living lights,’ humble ‘Petromax’ disciples, so to speak, created by the Father, sent by Jesus and ignited by the Holy Spirit to bear witness to the true Light who is Christ. (Fr. Oliver Quilab, SVD Bible Diary 2008)

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September 19, 2016 Monday

In the Bible, the presence of light is associated with the presence of God. Some examples can be seen in the following: 1) at the creation of the world, the intervention of God was first manifested in the creation of light (Gen. 1:3); 2) when the Israelites were freed from Egypt, God led them through a pillar of re to give them light by night (Ex. 13:21); and 3) the theophanies were accompanied by light (cf. Ex. 24:17). But more than association, light refers also to God himself. For instance, the messianic prophecy identifies the Messiah of God as the light (Isa. 9:2; Jn. 1:4-5,9) which Jesus (the Messiah/Christ) confirms in Jn. 8:12, “I am the light of the world (emphasis mine).” The Psalmist also calls God light (Ps. 27:1). Thirdly, this light also refers to people. In his famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells those who followed him, “You are the light of the world (Mt. 5:14).” What does this mean? This light, who is God, enters into the life of the person to make the person shine also as light, as God’s sign in the world.

We who have seen and heard God have received and have been blessed much. We need to give witness to this in how we live our life. We need to radiate the light of God by our faithful adherence to him and his Word, no matter what the cost. As people of faith, we are expected to let our light shine brightly before others. Our experience of God is not for personal consumption but for the mission, to bring others to God and let them experience God in their life. Failure to do so is missing the point of our calling in the world. (Fr. Dudz F. Lero, SVD Holy Name University, Tagbilaran City Bible Diary 2016)

rveritas-asia.org/daily-reflection/899-september-19-2016-monday

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“For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible, and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light.”

As a young newspaper reporter long before the era of Google and Facebook, I had almost daily reminders of the truth of today’s Gospel. You had better be extremely careful how you live because “there is nothing hidden that will not become visible and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light.”

Ringggg. “Hello, I can’t tell you my name (or maybe they would) but I think that someone at the paper should know XXXX.” The usually anonymous callers would then recount what they knew and how they had learned it. Often their reports dealt with alleged sexual misconduct. Some politician was having an affair or Judge So and So had a porn collection – you name it.

Reporters also learned that our sources were scrutinizing us. One woman whom I scarcely knew, for example, questioned my ability to do a particular story because her opponent was married to someone from my home town.

Every office has its “know all/tell all.” Every family has a gossipy Aunt Clara who monitors the dress and behavior of the younger generation and spends Mass checking up on who else is there. None of us can escape.

Jesus had His own problems with the gossips and virtue police of His era. They were undoubtedly the people who told the Pharisees whenever He consorted with sinners or violated the letter of the Sabbath laws. Jesus knew he was under constant public scrutiny – that whatever he did would not remain secret.

So what does this all mean to us?

We all make mistakes that we would prefer to keep quiet. We know that God will judge us for them but do we have to parade them before the whole town?

No. There are reasons for the Seal of the Confessional. But refusing to face our mistakes and make amends for them just worsens the original error. Cover-ups almost guarantee that what we have tried to hide will become visible. At least if we have tried to atone to God and others for our misdeeds we will recover better when our secrets come to light. (Eileen Wirth)

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SIMPLE LIGHTS: The Lord clearly says that every Christian should be a light. But how does a Christian become a light? There are two ways a Christian can become a light. The first is the customary way. Pope John Paul II, for instance is a light. Millions of people flock to the places he goes to. Every time he speaks, millions listen to him. This is the way of becoming a light.

Perhaps on a smaller scale, Cardinal Sin, our bishops and even some priests, are popular. Their names are respected by the media and thus, land on the front pages of the newspapers. People listen to what they say, and are perhaps reminded of the glory of God. This is one way to be a light.

The other way of becoming a light, is what most of us are called to do. For most of us, to be a light does not entail being popular, powerful and controversial.

For many of us, to be a light is to endure whatever is given to us day by day, no matter how painful. For many of us, to be a light, is to suffer patiently and lovingly, without a complaint. For many of us, to be a light, to be a follower of Christ, is to simply be like Christ.

Remember what we read every Holy Week? Christ compares Himself to a worm. He says, “I am a worm, I am not a man. People will not even look at me. People will not admire me. People will not be inspired by me because I am abominable. I look pitiable.”

Many of us are called to lead that life. We are called to suffer patiently and quietly. Yet in our quiet, in our patient suffering we can still elicit nobility and admiration.

That is what is contained in the first reading. The Israelites were exiled to Babylon. The neighboring countries ridiculed Israel and said: “Is this what you get for trusting God?” Israel was the most unpopular among the nations, and certainly no other nation would be inspired to look at her.

Yet Israel suffered patiently, faithfully and diligently. In the end, Israel remained a light.

Brothers and sisters, not all of us are called to be popular. Not all of us are called to be powerful. Not all of us will be called to land in the headlines or covered by the television cameras. Yet all of us are being called to be lights in our own little way – patiently, lovingly and without complaining. (Socrates Villegas, Jesus Loves You, pp. 185-186)

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Hidden Catholics: I will never forget an incident that I witnessed in a fast food chain. A young family with two kids in row was about to start eating their “happy meal.” The father was going to take a big bite when the younger kid said, “Dad, we still have to pray (say grace).” But the father said, “Shhhhh, there are plenty of people here. We’ll just pray later at home.” The innocent kid retorted quite loudly, “Ahhhh, so it’s only in the house that we are to pray before eating.” The father had to hush his son as he turned pale, embarrassed by the whole thing.

This is not something that rarely happens. In a country with a population that’s 85 percent Catholics, how do we explain the small turnout of Sunday Mass goers? Majority of us are Catholics by name only, nominal Catholics we call them. We gain membership simply by baptism, some become lights on lampstands that others see, some remain under bushel baskets that do not give even the faintest or are simply far from other people’s light.

If some of us who are already Sunday Mass goers sometimes excuse ourselves from doing the external exercises of the faith, can we blame the nominal Catholics for remaining obscure or even unseen? Belief in Christ must never be concealed. It should always be conspicuous. Believers should never be ashamed to let other people know that they profess faith in Christ (Fr. Sandy V. Enhaynes, SABBATH Scripture Meditation for Daily Life January – December 2011 p. 269)

 

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Palestinian homes in Jesus’ time were typically made of hardened clay, and they had enough windows to let air and light in, but small enough to keep out the desert dust and heat. It was then very valuable to have an oil lamp burning inside the house. This daily reality was what inspired Jesus to speak in the symbolic tone he has in today’s gospel.

“Light” is typically God’s sign in the Bible. It was God who made the light out of the chaotic darkness in Genesis. God’s theophany was always accompanied by light such as lightning and the burning bush. The prophet Isaiah in prophesying about the coming of the Messiah said: “A people who walked in darkness has seen a great light…” In the New Testament, St. John developed his gospel with themes about God’s light against darkness. St. Paul, on his part, wrote that we should live as children of the light.

Our gospel then underlines that in the same way a lamp is placed on a lampstand to give light to all in the house, our faith in God as our lamp must also lead us to witness to this belief so that others may hear, see and experience (cf. Jn 1:1-7).

Two things related to “letting our light” shine:

  • In the same way that light must continuously assert itself to conquer the darkness, so, our living out of the faith is no easy task. We have to continuously reaffirm our commitment amidst challenges of darkness that comes from society, others, the system, ourselves.
  • The more the fire lighted, it has the natural tendency to become bigger! So with our faith. Faith shared many times is also faith strengthened. It is similar to what is expressed in the wisdom saying: “Practice makes perfect.” (Fr. Domie Guzman SSP New Every Morning New Everyday p. 283)

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Monday of the 25th Week in Ordinary Time (Year C) – Lucas 8:16-18. Unsa may angay natong buhaton sa gasa sa pagtoo nga atong nadawat gikan sa Ginoo? Una, angay nato kining paningkamotan sa pagsabot nilamdagan sa Espiritu Santo ug sa pagtulon-an sa Simbahan. Kon adunay pagtulon-an nga atong gikalibgan, ato kining pamalandongan ug moduol kita sa mga pari ug relihiyoso alang sa dugang pagpaklaro. Ug Ikaduha, angay natong sundon ug puy-an ang mga pagtulon-an nga atong gitoohan. Matod pa sa ebanghelyo, ang pagtoo sama sa usa ka suga nga angay natong ipadayag aron magsilbi sa iyang katuyoan nga mao ang paghatag og kahayag sa katilingban. Kon ang pagtoo dili nato mapuy-an, mamatay kini ug mawala kanato. Pero, kon ang pagtoo atong ipakita sa buhat, molambo kini ug mamungag daghang kaayohan (Fr. Abet Uy).

abetuy.blogspot.com/2013/09/monday-of-25th-week-in-ordinary-time.html

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Sunday, September 18, 2016

MONDAY OF THE 25TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR C) – LUKAS 8:16-18. UNSA MAY ATONG BUHATON SA GASA SA PAGTOO NGA ATONG NADAWAT GIKAN NI KRISTO? Una, angay natong sabton pag-ayo ang Kristohanong Pagtoo pinaagi sa seryosong pagtoon ug mainampoong pagpamalandong niini. Kon ugaling adunay pagtulon-an nga wala nato masabti o atong gikalibgan, moduol kita sa mga pari, relihiyoso, o katekista aron mangutana. Ikaduha, angay natong sundon ug puy-an ang kinabuhi ug pagtulon-an ni Kristo diha sa matag adlaw. Gihulagway sa ebanghelyo ang Kristohanong kinabuhi isip usa ka suga nga angay natong ipadayag aron magsilbi sa iyang katuyoan nga mao ang paghatag og kahayag sa katilingban. Kon ang pagkakristiyano dili nato puy-an, mapakyas kita sa paghatag og lamdag sa kalibotan. Sundon nato ang pahimangno: “We are not called to shine our own light but to reflect His.” Posted by Abet Uy

abetuy.blogspot.com/2016/09/monday-of-25th-week-in-ordinary-time.html

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The Parable of the Lamp

Lk 8:16-18

[Jesus said to his disciples,] 16“No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel or sets it under a bed; rather, he places it on a lampstand so that those who enter may see the light. 17For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible, and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light. 18Take care, then, how you hear. To anyone who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he seems to have will be taken away.”

Reflection:

No one who lights a lamp conceals it. Those who have received the light of Christ, who is the light of the world, should themselves be a light to others. To be a light is to give light. A Columban priest friend of mine told me that in their society of priests, they used to greet each other with “Keep the faith!” One day, one Columban priest said to another, “Conan, keep the faith!” Fr. Conan replied, “I will not keep it. I will share it!”

When we share the word of God to others, we grow in understanding and appreciation of the word. Thus, those who have are actually given more. But if a person does not share the word which he has received, “even what he seems to have will be taken away.”

Don’t let the word of God stop with you.

Pass it on! It is a treasure to be shared.

graceandspace.org/welcome/home/365-days-with-the-lord/1847-the-parable-of-the-lamp.html

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WORD TODAY: “No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel or sets it under a bed; rather, he places it on a lampstand so that those who enter may see the light,” (v.16). Christ is our Light. Every Christian has the mission to share this Light. To do this, God gives each of us a charism, a special ability to be used for building up the church. To identify your charism, pay attention to what others ask from you. they’ll be drawn to the charism you have that completes their wholeness. Then develop your gift. Otherwise it is like a covered lamp, it will flicker and die. “Those who have something will be given more; but those who have nothing even the little they think they have will be taken away.” Knowing our charism makes our lives more meaningful. May Christ shine bright in you today (Fr. Iko Bajos).

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Story: A wise and well-respected Buddhist monk gave this piece of advice to his students. He said, “In the end only three things matter. These are the following: 1) How fully you lived? 2) How deeply you loved? 3) How can I show my gratitude to God, and to my family for all the good things I experience and receive from them? (Most Rev. Ruperto C. Santos DD STL (2013). Read, Commit, and Serve Jesus. Makati: St. Pauls – 143-144).

Monday of the 25th Week in Ordinary Time

Proverbs 3: 27-34; Luke 8: 16-18

Be My Witness

The liturgical readings for today consist of proverbs galore.  The second reading from Luke is a string of three proverbs and the first reading is from the book of Proverb itself. The central theme impregnated in all these parables pivots around discipleship. A disciple has inevitably to be a light of the world as the Master has been: BMW – ‘Be My Witness to the ends of the earth’.

The first saying focuses on the missionary aspect of the discipleship. Jesus’ revelation itself is to enlighten the world. We are here reminded of the famous saying of Jesus recorded by John: I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life [Jn 8:12].  Like the master we have the duty to be the light of the world and to disseminate Christ’s light of goodness, joy and love. Just as the lamp helps us to see things clearly the light of Christ in our hearts enables us to see who we are and how we are related to God and to our neighbor and in turn we have to help others to see the truth clearly and empower them to walk without fear. The first reading from the Proverbs provides with the practical tips to how we have to occupy a place on a lamp stand to disseminate the light of Jesus within us amidst the darkness and chaos of the world around. Hence we need to purify our lives if we wish to see clearly and to attract others to the truth.

The second saying refers to the revelatory power of the word. The letter to the Hebrews makes this point quite powerfully: “The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword ….; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And before him no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare …” [Heb 4: 12-13].  This is to encourage us not to act out of fear but to walk always clean and upright in the presence of the Lord as a reflection of his Light.

The third saying tells us that the more we listen to Jesus’ word the more we will be attuned to hear it. In contrast, every time we fail to listen, it becomes harder the next time even to hear. There is a difference between hearing and listening. Only if we have really listened, we keep acting on what we have heard. If we have just heard only, it will remain a piece of news and we will fail to act on ‘every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord’ [Dt. 8:3]. This principle is also true with the God-given gifts and talents as we find in the parable of talents [Lk. 19:26] Dr. Fr. John Ollukaran CMI

navchetana.com/web/homilies.php?date=2016-09-19

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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

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