Sunday, April 24, 2016

How to be a "Spark of Light" to Others

It’s the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death.  Many of us as youngsters had to memorize lines from Shakespeare's 36 plays.  Lines such as: “to thine own self be true”; or “all the world's a stage, and all the men and women are merely players: and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages” and so forth.  

Life at any age can't really be divided into compartments.  Sunday we involve God; Monday through Friday we exclude God. That was the “Titanic's mistake.”  The ship's hull was divided into 16 compartments.  When the wreck was found in 1985, they discovered damage to one compartment affected all the rest.

A person who tries to live a life of integrity, honesty and truthfulness doesn't divide or compartmentalize.  We are called to try always to be true to our inner best selves.

The Book of Revelation describes a visionary experience of the future: a new heaven and a new earth, a universe in which we will experience the presence or glory of God.

The Gospel according to John takes us to the farewell address of Jesus, to his “new commandment”: love one another.

Mary Magdalene and Jesus
During this Easter season we meet different biblical personalities: questioning Thomas, impulsive Peter, purpose-driven Paul.  Now we meet Mary Magdalene.  

She and other biblical women supported Jesus.  She was at the crucifixion; she was the first to witness the empty tomb; she was the first to recognize Jesus in the garden. She was a model of discipleship who invites us to practice seven disciplines, all interconnected, that will nurture our relationship with God:

Take at least 10 minutes a day to breathe in the presence of God.  People find all sorts of ways: a daily walk, a stop at a church, a quiet moment in the car. Blessed Mother Teresa wrote: God is the friend of silence.

The Gospels are filled with examples. Engage in a volunteer ministry. Check Catholic Charities or the Conference of Catholic Bishops for issues needing your support. And remember: serving begins at home, with compassion and forgiveness.

Be a lifelong learner. Study the bible and the teachings of the Church. There are many resources.

Celebrate the presence of “the Risen Jesus” especially in the Eucharist.

Pope Francis challenges us to be missionary disciples. Faith sharing can be as simple as asking.  How can we better reflect values or virtues such as honesty, integrity, responsibility, friendship, faith in God.

Trusted friends can help us make the right decision in important matters.

Ask yourself: do I really need this or that?  Carry as little “baggage” as possible.  Do without anger, impatience, selfishness, negative judgments, whatever might jeopardize our relationship with God.

Faith must be fed and cared for.  These disciplines will nurture our relationship with God and keep us “ever ready” so we will be a spark of light to others.


  1. Well said! This is a little gem, an instruction pamphlet on living the Gospel life. For the instruction book, see the Bible.

    Thank you!

  2. Lovely sentiments, Kevin. Great photo, too!