February 4, 2017
“No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.” (Mt 5:15)
This past week we carried lighted candles in procession for the feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple. Guerric of Igny comments on not only holding lamps, but being lamps:
“Come to him and be enlightened, so as to be not merely carrying lamps but to be very lamps yourselves, shining inside and out, for yourselves and for your neighbors. Be a lamp. In heart, in hand, in lips. The lamp in your heart will shine for you; the lamp in your hand or on y our lips will shine out for your neighbors. The lamp in the heart is loving faith; the lamp in the hand is the example of good works; the lamp on the lips is edifying speech….
Now, child of light, aflame with all these burning lamps, you will no longer be wondering in the dark of night…. There are many lamps to glow with ardor in these inmost depths of yours, that when this life’s lamp is extinguished, there will arise a life’s light which can never be extinguished, a shimmering, noonday light, arising as it were at the evening of your life; and at the very moment when you think you are burnt out, your wick’s flame will arise again and darkest night for you will be as noonday. No more need of the sun’s rays by day nor of the brilliance of the moon to light your way at night: the Lord will be for you and everlasting light, for the Lamb it is who is the lamp of the new Jerusalem, hw who is the All-Blessed and Crystal-Clear, throughout endless ages. Amen.”
(Guerric of Igny, First Sermon for the Purification)
The question is, how can I be a better lamp, a “burning and shining lamp” (Jn 5:35)?