Be Brave

“Jesus said to the crowd:
“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.
For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible,
and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light” (Luke 8:16-18).

A constant theme of my prayer these last few weeks has been to not be discouraged. The weight of the darkness in our Church, our world, and some things for me personally sure has been heavy, sometimes seemingly too much to bear. Today’s Gospel is comforting in that all will be revealed by God. God sees. God knows. He has not abandoned us, nor will He ever. His truth reigns. God is always working for our good. Stop and let that sink in for a moment. Do you actually believe that? Do you trust God in that with all of your heart? I know I struggle sometimes to live in that truth. Some days, out of fear, I keep God at an arm’s length rather than fully letting Him in.

To the weary of heart, He sees you. He sees the efforts you are making for His Kingdom. We can trust that Jesus is who He says He is, and we are who He says we are, as well—God’s sons and daughters who have authority in His name.

We must be unafraid to be the lights on the lampstand, as tempting as it may be to hide right now. Sometimes we may think, “This is too hard, painful, difficult…” or, “I’m not good enough…” or, “I can’t make a difference…” but those are just lies! While hard, painful, and difficult do not begin to describe the excruciating tumult that is rocking our Church, and whatever personal crosses we bear, we are still a resurrection people. And God will not let our story end with pain and betrayal. What would happen if we were brave in letting God work through us? What if we dared to be attentive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in the everyday? What would happen if we radically love like Christ in everything we do? What is He calling you to?

Today’s first reading from Proverbs says, “Say not to your neighbor, ‘Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give,’ when you can give at once.” How we are needed to rise up, without fear or shame, and without delay, to authentically love one another! I have been convicted now more than ever to be a joyful witness of Christ’s love—knowing that Christ’s love takes on many forms: suffering, healing, forgiveness, boldly proclaiming truth, walking with, mourning with, and even a simple gaze of compassion. All can be an offering of love for Him; we can strive to have all we do worship our Lord. Let us go out and be vessels of hope, continually pointing others towards Christ.

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