Thursday of the 3rd week in ordinary time. Memorial of St Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church.
There are three different lamps.
The first one is lit and somehow it is kept in a lonely quite place in the dark. The lamp gives light to that lonely place and continues to burn. But there is no one to notice it. A second lamp is lit, but it is kept in a crowd place during the day time. It burns and burns but nobody notices its light. The third lamp is lit during the dark and it is kept in another crowd place. But this lamp gets notices as its light dispels the darkness and people appreciate its presence there. Which lamp do you prefer? Am sure most of us would prefer the third lamp because it gives light to the people in the darkness. But the three lamps are equally important. Whether we keep the lamp in a lonely place, or during the day or at night or in presence of people, it does not matter because the lamps continue to burn and they keep on giving what they have. They have done their duty to burn selflessly. They are generous and they give their best. In the gospel today, Jesus tell his disciples about a lamp to be kept in a bushel basket or under the bed or on the lamp stand.
And then he continues to say that whoever gives more will receive as much as he has given. In our lives we always think that we are not noticed and appreciated either by God or people in the good charitable things we do. Some of us do small things and others great noticeable things like the third lamp. We should not stop burning because we are unnoticed. Whatever we are doing and wherever we are doing we need to keep on giving ourselves for others. We seek not for appreciation and glory, but whatever we do, we should do it to the best for the greater glory of God. Anything we do whether small or great is worth before God and it makes us to continue responding to God's call of being the light of the world and salt of the earth.
Mother Teresa says " I must be willing to give whatever it takes to do good to others. This requires that I be willing to give until it hurts. Otherwise, there is no true love in me" One of the things we should do as Christians to continue burning like the lamp in the gospel is by being generous. Generosity is giving oneself totally to God and to other people in order to get the best of the Kingdom of God. We have a good chance of getting a smile from someone, if we first offer that person a smile. To get a letter, we often first need to send a letter. To receive blessings, we must offer a prayer. How often we might complain about our situation and feel neglected both by God and others because we have not received something.
But the first question to ask is how much have I given. This is what Jesus is asking us today in the gospel.
Generosity is one of those talents and lights which are not to be hidden under a bushel basket. Certainly for this reason Jesus gave the example of lamp. We motivate other people by being generous in our abilities and talents. If we are generous with our time, money, resources etc. we inspire and enlighten others. We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works. As we keep together as community of believers we need to assist and encourage each other in all aspects of our lives.
Let's the lamp of faith keep on burning everyday day of our lives.