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Light is contagious

5th sunday

Just a few days ago, we celebrated the Feast of the Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple, a Christmas feast outside the Christmas season. Formerly it was called the feast of Candlemas because during the Mass, candles for devotion are blessed.

A candlelight is amazing. A candlelight is contagious. A single candle can give light to a thousand people. A single candle can share its light to a thousand other candles, without itself diminishing. Such is the importance of a candle that is lit, blessed and shared.

Today we again encounter the image of light in the Gospel. “You are the light of the world,” Jesus encourages us. What better way for Jesus to describe his disciples than by comparing them to himself, “the true light of the world.” Becoming light is a tribute to the faith of a true follower of Jesus. Jesus the light shares his light with us and then it is our turn to share this light with others.

Today we live in a world of darkness. Aside from our personal struggles against sin, we hear of unspeakable crimes, murders, vendetta, greed and corruption. We are deceived by many forces in society that wants to destroy life and family while assuring us that their only purpose is to protect health and wellbeing.

Jesus reminds us that light is useless if not displayed for everyone to see. Light is lame if it is not used to guide people to see the right path. What good is our light if it stops shining right after we walk pass the church door?

As Christians, we must let our light shine. Even if it means we will be misunderstood or ridiculed or treated with contempt. Even if it means we will lose our own peace of mind and the security of our loved ones.

Thus we are happy and proud to be Christians and Filipinos when someone comes forward to testify against the graft and corruption happening in the military and in the government. We are inspired when our own bishops courageously teach us clearly the meaning and purpose of life as God, not as politicians, would have it.

When someone starts to light his candle and allow his light to shine, the world becomes a better place. Jesus becomes powerfully present again. Salvation and renewal come to life.

A friend of mine, a young man of just 19 years, passed away 2 years ago. His name was Chris and he was a man of such goodness that upon his death, so many accounts of love, kindness and inspiration continue to abound. In life he was a brightly shining light. In death, he left behind a trail of light that others find truly inspiring.

In a world of darkness, let us struggle to let our light shine. Jesus, light of the world, help us become light to one another, too!