Daily Reflection

“No one who lights a lamp conceals it … so those who enter may see the light.”

In our parish, infant baptisms take place during Sunday Mass.  Last Sunday tiny Eloise, and her parents and Godparents gathered by the font at the start of Mass.  Our pastor asked the parents if they understood the responsibility of this baptism and raising their child “as Christ taught us, by loving God and our neighbor.”

Throughout the Mass we in the congregation were invited into the ceremony.  We sang the Litany of the Saints, we prayed for Eloise and her parents and we renewed our baptismal vows.  We welcomed Eloise as the newest member of our Church with thunderous applause.
During the sacrament, she had been given a baptismal candle with a flame shared from the Easter candle.  Our pastor reminded the parents, and us, that our faith, like that flame, “is entrusted to you to be kept burning brightly. This child of yours has been enlightened by Christ. She is to walk always as a child of the light.”

Our faith, our baptism, has been entrusted to each one of us to keep the flame burning brightly.  It’s not just our own faith lives that are kept aflame, but we have a responsibility as a member of the Christian community to keep that flame alive for Eloise and for each other.
How do we live our lives as Christians?  Pope Francis says about this gospel that the light we find in Jesus’ teachings comes from our love for the poor and for our neighbor.  This commitment, Francis says, takes place in our daily lives and in the here and now.  “Never put off the good,” Francis reminds us.  “The good is today, and if you do not do it today, tomorrow it will not be there. Do not conceal the good for tomorrow.”

He adds, “Do not say to your neighbor: ‘Yes, go, go, go… then pass again and I will give it to you tomorrow.’ If you have with you now what the person is asking for … do not make the needy person wait.”

What can I do with this day I have been given?  Today, how do I carry the light of my baptism?  How do I share it with others? Who will I encounter in my life today who needs to see the light of my Christian love shining?  What kind of example do I set for others in my community?

It begins with our neighbors and the poor, Francis reminds us.  Those we encounter each day.  Those we avoid each day.  Those who are in pain and suffering.  Jesus shows us the light and asks us to carry that light and love to those around us.

Loving Jesus, light the flame of my baptism today.  Help me to use it to be aware of your presence burning in my heart.  Teach me to carry that light into the world and share it with others, ‘so those who enter may see the light.’