The other day, this big light up here burned out, that one right up here in the center. You’d be amazed at how much darker this place was without that light on. It was crazy. I got to reflecting: one lamp makes an awfully big difference. Without one lamp, there is more darkness and less light.
I share this because: You and I are lamps of the Church. I’m not talking about a building of course, but the Church. We are the lights. And every light counts.
There are too many burned out bulbs in the church! Too many lamps are not lit. Too many are flickering. Too many are dim. Too many are flat out turned off.
And the Church suffers as a consequence.
Imagine someone in your life that means a lot to you. That person is a light for you. Without him or her, there would be a lot less light in your life. Parents naturally feel this way about their children. “You are my light” they say to their son.
It is the same for us as sons and daughters of God. Every lamp matters to God! Tomorrow marks that tragic anniversary of Roe vs Wade, the Supreme Court’s decision that enables an entire class of people to be murdered. We Catholics are loud against this and loud for life, because every light matters to God.
Every light counts!
Our job is two fold:
1) We need to make sure that our own lamp is burning brightly! Not flickering, not dim, but burning brightly. For this we need a good prayer life, we need the sacraments, we need to live a life of service and charity, we need to be involved in the ministries of the church
2) We need to take a look and see which lamps are out in our own life. Who do we know that is not coming to church? Who can we invite to Jesus? Who is burned out? Jesus says in our Gospel: “Come after me and I will make you fishers of men.” He wants us to bring people in to him, like fish in a net. Too many people aren’t screwed in right. Our job is to bring ’em all home–for the sake of their souls, and because the church is darker without them. “We need you” we must tell them! The power of an invitation. Jonah did it in our first reading, and Nineveh was never the same. It is not just the priest’s job to turn on the lights that are turned off. I’m not in the cubicles you are, the high school hallways you are. God asks us, wherever we are in life: bring me a catch. Turn on the lights. It is everyone’s job.
Let there be light in the church!