25 September
Lk 8:16-18

"No one after lighting a lamp hides it under a jar, or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a lamp-stand, so that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is hidden that will not be disclosed, nor is anything secret that will not become known and come to light. Then pay attention to how you listen; for to those who have, more will be given; and from those who do not have, even what they seem to have will be taken away."

Matthew’s gospel too has this image of a light on a lampstand; but there’s a subtle difference.  “It gives light to all who are in the house” (Mt 5:15); while here in Luke’s gospel, it gives light to those who enter the house.  Matthew was Jewish and writing for Christians of Jewish origin, but Luke was a Gentile writing for Gentile Christians.  Gentiles are coming to the house of faith from the outside. 

As for the second part of the reading: "To the one who has, more will be given..." This sounds perfectly unjust.  It sounds like capitalism at its greediest.  What is this language doing on the lips of Jesus?  The explanation is that he is speaking of  the inner world, where this law describes exactly what happens in fact (and not by anyone's decision); it could be called a descriptive (as distinct from a prescriptive) law.  If you have a gift and you neglect it (like the man in the Gospel who buried his one talent), you gradually lose it.  For example, if you have a gift for music but you never practise, you begin to lose the gift; but if you cultivate that gift it increases.  The same is true of all gifts: gifts of prayer, of intelligence, of imagination, even of physical strength.     


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This page gives a very brief commentary by Donagh O’Shea on the gospel reading for each day of the month. 


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