Tuesday 22 September 2020

Twenty-Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

Word for today
The Gospel of Luke 8:16-18

Injustice?


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 . Doesn't this declaration seem to proclaim a deep injustice?  Doesn't it seem puzzling that in this case the Gospel teaches to give to those who already have and to take away from those who do not?  What do Jesus' words mean? Here Jesus is reminding us of an obvious and forgotten reality: (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.
What is the lamp? The lamp is the ability, the attitude, the skill, the talent, the cleverness, the potential, the resource, the adroitness, the genius, the flair, the predisposition, the inclination, the propensity, in a single word, it is God's gifts. These are the gifts which God Almighty has generously given to each man and woman. Jesus reminds us that each of us, every single son of God is a lamp; that is, we are all born with gifts and special, particular potentialities to bring light to this world, to make it easier and more beautiful to live and improve well-being and peace. Every man is born to be happy and to bring, with his/her life, person, and abilities, beauty and comfort to the life of everyone else to the glory of the Most High God. Every man and woman is born on this earth to offer to the world their share of light for the good of all and God’s glory. It is beautiful.
Now, if a man/woman, who is ignorant, under the influence of the training he/she has undergone, out of laziness, starvation or fear because immersed in stupidity, in rebellion or conflict, blinded by pride, ambition, vanity or anger, or because overwhelmed by the thirst to possess, lives all his/her life without being useful to the real well-being and happiness of all, without being a lamp, without offering  help, without using the gifts received by God for the benefit of all, that is a useless and unusable man/woman, as useless and unusable as a lamp covered with a a vessel or put under the bed. A man/woman or group of people, who use their light, their gifts and abilities for themselves, for their own benefit, profit, wealth, well-being, or worse, to crush and abuse others, is a man/woman or group of people that is useless and out of place, as useless and out of place as a lamp intended to give light is covered by a vessel or put under the bed. Even if a man/woman, using the potential that God gave him/her, becomes rich and powerful, even if he/she has the world in his/her hand, he/she would be a useless and stupid man/woman, as useless and stupid as putting a lamp under the bed. That kind of man/woman has not shared his/her gifts with others, and therefore he/she is not really good for anything; he/she is incapable, incapable in the sense of not skilled, because he/she is unable to use his/her gifts for the reason and purpose they were offered to him/her by God. He/she is incapable also in the sense of lack of capacity, of the possibility of being filled with other gifts and fruits of life. Only if you have been able to offer the light and the love of your lamp are you able to receive the light and love of God. This law, the law of the lamp applies to all and to any situations in ​​life.
In this page of the Gospel, Jesus is using the term lamp certainly to refer to all the gifts that God has given us, but for those who want to understand a bit beyond, He is especially referring to the greatest gift of all: the encounter with Him and His Word: the encounter with the Light and the knowledge of the procedures of the Gospel. The knowledge of Jesus and His Word is the gift that gives new light and unknown splendor, wisdom, extraordinary efficiency and divine power to the capability to use all the other gifts and derive from them maximum benefit for all. Covering that gift with a vessel and putting it under the bed, ignoring this wonderful opportunity and not putting this lamp on a lampstand for everybody to know and to bring light to all the house of the world is useless, silly, and a sign of unsurpassed inability to offer and therefore to receive. Now Jesus's words seem clear and not at all unjust: 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.