Reflection by Fr. Edward Looney
Today’s Gospel: John 5:31-47
“[John] was a burning and shining lamp.”
Often when I think about John the Baptist, I think of the lifelong friendship he must have had with Jesus. After all, he leaps in the womb of his mother Elizabeth in the presence of Jesus. And he later baptizes Jesus in the waters of the Jordan River. Medieval artists depict John and Jesus having play dates. And then we have today’s gospel, in which Jesus says John was a burning and shining lamp. Just as Jesus knows the hearts of those hearing His message and calls them out, He knows John quite well, and is able to make such a wonderful claim about John.
Instead of John’s name, put your name there. For me, “Edward is a burning and shining lamp.” If Jesus spoke those words today, would they be true about us? Are you a burning and shining lamp? What does it mean to be a shining lamp? It means that we allow the joy of the gospel to pervade our life. That when people look at us they know that we are believers in Jesus and would have no doubts.
Today, Jesus invites to become those burning and shining lamps in our families, among our friends, in our workplaces, our parishes, and our communities. It means that we rise above negative talk in order to say only the good that people need to hear. It means that we set the example for others who might look to us for guidance. John the Baptist had many followers who listened to his words and teachings. Let the people closest to you or those who meet you as they pass through life look to you as a burning and shining lamp with a contagious faith and joy.
Are your faith and joy contagious?
Lord, use me as Your light to someone who is in darkness. Allow me to bring them hope and joy today.
Copyright 2020 Fr. Edward Looney
Fr. Edward Looney was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Green Bay in June 2015, and is an internationally recognized Marian theologian, writer, speaker, and radio personality. Author of the best-selling books, A Heart Like Mary’s and A Rosary Litany, he has also written a prayer book for the only American-approved Marian apparition received by Adele Brise in 1859 in Champion, Wisconsin.
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