There are people in this world who think the whole world revolves around them. Their egos are so large, their belief that they are god's gift to the world, their condescension towards anyone who would dare to disagree with their perceived self-perfection, are attitudes that drive me crazy, drive me to distraction.
Yet today's Gospel reading seems to give these kinds of behaviors free reign. We hear Jesus saying today: You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. But these words are not a license for self-aggrandizement, self-promotion. These are words that come after the Blessed part of the Beatitudes, where Jesus has said his followers will be persecuted and derided and yet still somehow be Blessed.
Part of that Blessedness is that by living into this new worldview, this new way of interacting in the world, we make ourselves different, we stand out because of the works and lightness that are generated by our different way of being. That light that will shine from us does not need our aid to be seen by others, but Jesus is telling us that we shouldn't purposefully try to hide the luminescence. By being in the world in that new way, we are not being egotistical self-aggrandizers, we are being followers of Christ.
Copyright 2009, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.