Monday, September 25, 2017

Monday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time

(Ezra 1:1-6; Luke 8:16-18)

In the 1950s and 1960s civil rights activists sang, “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.”  They saw themselves as small beams of light in the ongoing struggle with the darkness of racial bigotry and prejudice.  The song, written in the early part of the last century, recalls Jesus’ words of the gospel today.

Jesus wants his disciples to understand that they have been chosen to reflect the light of God’s grace.  Christianity is not a private religion in the sense that Jesus’ followers might pray on Sunday and be indifferent to their neighbors on Monday.  Quite the contrary, Christian prayer should lead to action on behalf of the needy.

There is a story about a Quaker prayer meeting once attended by a non-member.  As their habit, the Quakers were sitting in quiet meditation which discomforted the guest.  The guest turned to the Quaker sitting at his side and whispered, “When does the service begin?”  The Quaker responded, “The service begins as soon as the prayer ends!”