“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Men do not light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket. They set it on a stand where it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, your light must shine before men so that they may see goodness in your acts and give praise to your Heavenly Father. ”(Mt. 5: 14-16)
We have heard this part of the Gospel many times already I’m sure. And we would always consider it as an inspiration to be called the “light.” We’d probably rejoice and take pride in that fact. If we’re not careful however, we can easily fall into the trap, which Fr. Armand would call “holy pride”. As it gets into our head, we could lose focus on the real source of our “power” that is God. This will eventually lead us into the sin of pride, which is one of the seven deadly sins, the others being wrath, avarice, sloth, lust, envy and gluttony. Eventually, our “power” loses strength, until ultimately, we self-destruct. We become powerless and we become frustrated.
Alma would always remind everyone at home to unplug appliances when not in use. She has this big, handwritten reminder posted on strategic locations, to remind us of the same. Even power savers are constantly connected to ensure that no power is wasted. She would always tell us, “don’t waste limited resources”. We know for a fact that fossil fuels (our primary source of energy) are exhaustible and are good only for the next fifty or so years. Lately, rotating brownouts are back in some parts of the Visayas and Mindanao. And not only that, in some areas these brownouts reach up to eight hours. Yes, eight hours!
Imagine: what if you try to take a bath in pitch darkness? Or even eating your meal, without a ray of light? Or looking for your favorite socks inside the cabinet? I’m sure everybody can relate to the fact that it’s so difficult, if not impossible to achieve these tasks, no matter how basic these are. But have we even thought about it?
Connectedness to God is like the way a light bulb is connected to the power source. Unplug it, and the light goes out. Remove our connection from God (by our pride and selfish thoughts that we are the source of power) we become powerless, we become helpless. Have we realized that this is a major reason why people are frustrated, why people feel hopeless? They keep trying, not realizing that their efforts can be futile and useless.
There was a time in my life that I relied on my own power and strength. I struggled hard, thinking that I can be what I want to become, with my own effort and hard work. Even though I already served in the Altar early on, my youth was my disadvantage because back then, my service was more out of duty rather than out of love. Then with God’s Spirit, I realized that we become who God created us to be, by His grace alone, and not on our own power and strength. God has gifted us with talents and capabilities but when we have fallen out of grace, blessings can’t reach us anymore because sin is blocking these graces from reaching us, and leads us away from Him.
Let us pray that the God of Light continue to enlighten our minds, that we may not fall into thinking that we can do it all alone.
The champion has no extraordinary powers; he only has God who knows, and who cares. The embrace of God around his soul is never the object of doubting questions. He senses the presence of the Divine around which he organizes his life. He never walks alone. And he knows it.