Thursday, March 4, 2010

We are called to Shine

This post is by Kevin Pesek, a Campus Ministry Intern at St. Mary's. He and the other interns are guest blogging for us during Lent.

"I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." Jn 8:12

This is the verse before the Gospel at Mass yesterday and also happens to be on the front of my Bible, so I figured that it was a sign from God that I blog about it.

One of the groups here at St. Mary's called St. Mary's Youth Retreat Team (SMYRT) puts on retreats for high school and middle school students near College Station. The theme for their first retreat of the semester was "SHINE." Although I was unable to attend the retreat, I really loved their theme and think it can convey some deep truths.

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of the word "shine" is the adjective "shiny." And shiny reminds me of things that reflect light such as mirrors. But I can also conceive of people that are "shiny." I immediately think of actors and actresses in Hollywood (the stars), or people that only give off light because of the attention of others. The light they give off is merely reflected from others, like a mirror. A mirror does not produce light; put it in a dark room and you will not see it shining.

But the theme of the SMYRT retreat was "SHINE," not "SHINY." Christ says that he who follows him "will have the light of life." We are not called to be shiny, but to truly shine with the light Christ has given us. We don't need to depend like a mirror on outside light in order to shine; we shine with the light from within that only Christ can give. And in the darkness of our world, we can be the light of Christ to others.

I invite you not to try and be "shiny," but to truly SHINE with the light of Christ. Work on making that light brighter, so that others can see it. And if you feel that the darkness is closing in and is overpowering you, remember the words of St. Francis of Assisi: "All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle."

Tip o' the Hat to Robyn and Paul

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