To appreciate Jesus’ words in today’s Gospel, one must keep recall the context of the ancient world.  Electricity was unknown, so all light came from either the sun or fire.  Darkness often permeated public places, and especially homes.  Light offered comfort, or at least an opportunity to see what was happening around oneself.  Each of us has an inner light that is not conditioned by anyone or anything else.  No matter how others impact your feelings, know that Christ resides in you and that your inner light burns brightly.

If you spend even a bit of time each day in contemplation, you will develop a wisdom which enkindles your inner light.  You can build upon that wisdom and share it with those around you.  Share it in a way that inspires others to do good.  Goodness, like wisdom, does not require perfection…but only our best effort.  Jesus does the rest.

—Matt Kemper is the Director of Community Service at St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati.  He is grateful to Brian Shircliff for his input on today’s reflection.