A Proper Blueprint


Readings for February 9, 2020

Isaiah 58:7-10
Psalm 112:4-9
1 Corinthians 2:1-5
Matthew 5:13-16


A common critique of the Bible is that it does not offer much clarity, and often even provides conflicting information. And while there is a richness that can deeply touch our hearts in an individual verse, sometimes another verse may seem to contradict it. This happens because we are only reading part of the blueprint. Which is why I am drawn to daily readings put forth by the Catholic Church—working together, the scripture passages often provide a clear lesson, and this Sunday’s readings offer a particularly clear blueprint for holiness.

In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus is described as a light to the world, but Mark makes a point of reminding me that I am also called to shine Christ’s light to others, “Your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” Isaiah preemptively answers the necessary follow-up question to Mark’s instruction: “what constitutes good deeds?” The answer: “Share your bread with the hungry, shelter the oppressed and the homeless; clothe the naked when you see them, and do not turn your back on your own. Then your light shall break forth like the dawn.” Isaiah takes Mark’s call for me to shine the light of salvation and adds the specificity that I must do so by serving others.

And so the next question is why am I called to serve others? The Catechism lends itself to this part of the blueprint when it states, “The human person needs to live in society. Society is not an extraneous addition but a requirement … Love of neighbor is inseparable from love for God” (CCC 1878-79). Simply put, if I cannot love my neighbor I cannot love. And If I cannot love, I do not accept God because, of course, God is love.

Finally, then, if I love my neighbor, and so love my God, what will be the result? Isaiah writes that when I follow the blueprint, “Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer, you shall cry for help, and He will say: ‘Here I am!’ Then light shall rise for you in the darkness, and the gloom shall become for you like midday.” What an incredible promise! When we shine our light for others in charity, our own darkness will turn to light and God will answer our call!

My Lord Jesus, you are the light of the world. Yet you call on me to shine my light for others. May I do so with love and may that love give glory to God the Father. May I follow your blueprint so that others can witness your salvation. Amen

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