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September 24, 2012, Monday, Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time

September 29, 2012

Luke 8:16-18.  A lamp is placed on a lampstand so that those who may enter may see the


When I was younger, my family and two others went to Lake Shasta for summer vacation.  It was a kid’s paradise: houseboat, swimming & waterskiing all day; just relaxing in the sun.  What could be bad?  Except, we were teenagers, and invariably, after a week of this, we finally, collectively, said, ‘There’s nothing to do!’

So one of the dad’s took us to the Shasta Caverns and signed us up for the special spelunking tour – the one that went off the beaten path of the regular tour.  And we were in luck: our guide was excited to see what we could do.  So exploring we went, and down we crawled.

We got to the very bowels of the cavern, and ended up in a small cave. Our guide told us to douse our head lamps, and to wait for our eyes to try to adjust.  He asked us if we thought this was total darkness, to which we agreed: you could not see the fingers in front of your own eyes.  We then turned on our lights, and he showed us a cherry pit – something he had dropped from a snack – at the cave floor.  Here in the absence of all light, beyond all hope, the seed had sprouted anyway, and grown to 4 inches.  We were amazed then, as I am still amazed – I haven’t thought much of that story in over 35 years.  Until I prayed about today’s Gospel.

In Lumen Gentium, Pope Paul VI declared, “those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation.”  We as Christians must be there to assist in all ways possible.  The love of the Creator shines through the darkness, as the Light of Nations, all nations.  God’s love is imprinted on all hearts, and is awaiting discovery.

In today’s Gospel, Luke tells of the lamp that is to shed its light on the Gentiles who are entering the kingdom.  We are encouraged to continue to be receptive to the word of God, and importantly – urgently – keep looking for signs of life – and hope – in the world.  We are standing at the brink of uncertain times in our world.  Do we vote this way, or that?  Do we retain our Constitutional, religious rights, or are they denounced and devalued?  Will we lose our homes, or jobs, or future in these difficult times?  Will the left and right continue to fight and draw further apart, or will reason and necessity draw us together?  One never knows these things.  And so we do what we can do.  Continue to proclaim Christ the Light of the world, continue to help others draw closer to hope, go out from here and announce the Gospel, be the Gospel.  Even in the darkness there is life.


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