No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.
Last Sunday at Mass, the choir sang a beautiful version of This Little Light of Mine, with the addition of “Jesus gave it to me.”
I love that lyric that the choir director decided to include in the traditional folk song, which became a battle cry during the Civil Rights Movement. I belong to a Catholic parish that is wonderfully diverse and also predominantly African-American. So the while the song reminded me of Matthew 5;15, the song also carried additional meaning to some members of the congregation who undoubtedly lived through and grew up during the Civil Rights Movement.
Hours later, I could still hear the choir singing that song and that phrase, “Jesus gave it to me.” It was a powerful message that I continued to reflect on throughout the day.
It led me to ask, How am I reflecting the light of Jesus to people I encounter throughout the day? What gifts has Jesus given me that I need to share more fully with others? How can I shine more brightly to those who need the light of Jesus in their lives? Is my life and what I do carrying Jesus’ message out to the world and to the people around me? And am I doing anything in my life that is putting that light under a basket?
The goal is to let Jesus’ light shine through me, to be a vessel or an instrument He uses. And as I asked myself these questions, I discovered that I have some work to do. I am an introvert, so I sometimes find myself shrinking from letting my light shine because I don’t want the spotlight. I put my light under a basket.
But it’s not about me, it’s about Him! So who am I to hide the light He gave me, to try to control how far that line shines by covering it up? God gave me gifts to use to help build his kingdom. My gift back to Him is how I use them to help others.
Lord, help me to use the gifts you gave me to reflect your light to all I meet. Help me to be light to others, to help draw others closer to you.