The Parable of the Lamp
Jesus uses the example of an oil lamp. It was brought into the home to provide light, so it wasn’t hidden under the bed, but instead set on a lampstand where it could have most impact. Jesus seems to be saying “Use your gifts, your skills, don’t hide them out of sight”.
Many of us seem to be afraid to acknowledge the skills we have—they are God-given, to be used. Like Jesus, we need to be a light to others, to allow his light to shine through us, to reveal God’s care and love for all.
Mary MacKillop found her gift in teaching children. But instead of using it in one school, she looked beyond, drew forth on her gifts of personality, attractiveness, kindly nature to draw others to her light. Like moths, others were drawn to this woman and the good she was doing.
- Within three years 72 young women had joined Mary, learning how to use their own gifts either in teaching or in caring for the young and aged.
- A skilled horsewoman, Mary was not afraid to ask for a horse when the farmers refused to drive her to the bedside of a dying Sister at Port Augusta. One finally volunteered to do so.
- Mary’s sense of humour would have endeared her to many. At one time in her later years, two Novices were lifting her out of bed and dropped her on the floor. Expecting a reprimand, they were surprised to see Mary on the floor having a good laugh.
- Mary used her skills to care for two Sisters in New Zealand at a new school opening. She cooked, cleaned, did the laundry while the two young ones got the school organised. But she also knew her limitations asking the help of a neighbour to cook a flathead in one piece.
- Foremost were her teaching skills honed as Governess and teacher at Portland. This she loved but had to stop to allow her to train the young women joining her and needed for the schools Fr Woods kept providing for them to staff.
Today, now St Mary MacKillop, her light attracts people from all over the world to follow her, pray to her, imitate her way to God. Through her prayer, many have been healed of incurable illnesses. She has appeared to others asking for prayer, appearing in landscapes, seeming to want to be known by more and more people.
REFLECTION: Write down your gifts—both practical and personal. How are you using these gifts at this stage of your life? Ask Mary to show you how you can be a light in your world.
INTERCESSIONS: Resp. Jesus, let the light of your love shine on them
|1. For those suffering loss of homes and employment because of floods||R|
|2. For those in our parish who do not feel welcome||R|
|3. For the aged who feel alone and unloved||R|
|4. For those finding it difficult to feed their children||R|
|5. For our youth who feel anxious and afraid||R|
|6. For those who do not share their wealth with the poor||R|
|7. For all those who work with the homeless on the streets||R|
|8. Your own…………….||R|
TO COMPLETE THIS PRAYER WITH A JOYFUL, HAPPY SONG
Google: This Little Light of Mine……. And sing along.
(there are a couple of different ones—try them all!)