In the Gospel Jesus tells us to let or light shine before others. Preferably, it will be by our actions more than by our words that we will let our light shine. I heard a good statement on this subject fifty-eight years ago. It was a remark from an Irish missionary in Korea. Being away from his parish in June of 1950 when the war started, he fell in with America’s Second Division, and he received a decoration for staying with them through the war. Having heard that he had a great liking for our soldiers, I asked him about it when I took a walk with him afterwards.
“Frank, what was it you liked so much about our soldiers?”
“What got me was those kids trained by the nuns. You could see the grace shining out of them.”
We might take that command to let our light shine, then combine it with something St. John said in the opening lines of his Gospel. He said that the Son of God is the life which is the light of the whole human race. In other words, we can shine if we have his life is in us. That is like what St. Paul said in his Letter the Philippians: we are not capable of anything by ourselves. It is God who works in us both to will and to accomplish.
However, the first reading says you must prime the pump. It tells you to go out and provide food and clothing for the needy. With that, God will make his abode within you, “Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your wound shall be quickly healed.”