On this feast of Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, popularly known as Padre Pio, Luke’s gospel is fitting: Those who hear God’s word must respond and become a light to others. Padre Pio is a superb example of one who responded to God’s word by dedicating himself to alleviating the suffering of others. In so doing, he lived as a light to others. The Franciscan Friar became famous for having the visible stigmata and was also known as a wonderful confessor and a holy priest. He lived a life of prayer, charity, and suffering.

One might think, “well if I had the stigmata like Padre Pio maybe I would be more willing to be vocal about my faith” or “if I were a priest it would be a lot easier to be a light to others.” But Jesus enjoins all his followers to live lives of holiness. Jesus directs us to listen closely to God’s word and to let our light of faith shine.

What stops me from sharing my faith with others?  Do my actions reflect my desire to be a light to others?

—Sharron Deax Hanisch earned an MA in theology from the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry (formerly Weston Jesuit School of Theology). She is the mother of four children and a teacher at the School of Lectio Divina, St. Joseph Monastery, Tulsa, OK