“Candlelight” by Ramil Caragay, Fiat Ventures

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Something that has always intrigued me is how candles work. Something so simple but yet so beautiful that we use regularly. Just one candle is bright enough to light a room at home. Just one candle is powerful enough to light a hundred other candles. One candle is powerful enough but when you have hundreds of candles, or even thousands of candles you can light up an entire arena or even an entire city!

Have you ever had a blackout at home and looked for the first source of light? Usually the first thing you do is light a candle. That candle becomes a source of light and usually you use it to light other candles throughout your house. It’s amazing to me how this concept also reflects how Jesus is calling us to be light-bearers to the world. We are called to be bright and powerful like a candle and to spread our light to others everywhere we go.

The First Reading this weekend talks about how Jeremiah (and we) are appointed and dedicated prophets to the nations by God.  I don’t know about you, but I haven’t always had a great understanding of who and what a prophet is.  A lot of people would probably describe a prophet as somebody who goes around telling people what they’ve done wrong, and why God is mad at them.  Now sure, part of being a prophet is to help people see how they can straighten out their friendship with God, but it’s because he loves them and wants to be reconciled with them.  So what does a prophet “do”?

Well a great way that I’ve found to think about it is to go back to the candlelight analogy.  Jesus himself uses similar analogies in the Gospels too.  We’re supposed to bring his light to the world.  The light of Christ was given to us and shines in our hearts. This light represents the truth of knowing Jesus Christ and we need to spread this light to the darkest places of the world. There are many dark places that have a “spiritual blackout” that are in dire need of light. These places are dark and people have trouble seeing but we can be the candle that spreads light to them.

We already have the ultimate source of light that is Jesus Christ. We are now called to bear His light and to spread it to all humanity. Imagine what it would be like if this light was spread to not only hundreds but thousands of people across the world! The world is becoming a dark place and more and more it needs people like us to stand up and be a light. Just like the bible tells us 365 times, we should continuously tell ourselves “do not be afraid.” There is nothing that can blow out the candle that we have in our hearts. Our candle comes from a source that is everlasting and therefore it will never burn out, and the way we shine it is by living out our faith!

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