We Cannot Hide Our Chritianity

Thursday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

2 Sam 7: 18-19, 24-29; Mark 4: 21-25

Deacon Larry Brockman

Today’s first reading tells us all about the chosen people, Israel, and the House of God.  In a sense, this is analogous to the Church of today.

And in the Gospel, Jesus talks directly to his disciples, who are to be his witnesses to the end of the earth.  Today’s Gospel follows immediately after the parable Jesus told a great crowd on the lake in yesterday’s reading.  It was the parable of the sower and the seed.  Clearly, that parable was addressed to the crowd.  Jesus told his disciples he spoke in parables so that those who sought the truth would see; but those who weren’t seeking the truth would be blind to the analogy.  Those who would turn from his message at the first distraction; or be deceived by the devil or be drawn to the things of the world were identified and rejected.

Jesus was seeking to find those who were hungry for his message and would produce fruit in the long run by living according to it.  But then he told his disciples that they were especially gifted with knowledge of the Kingdom. 

So, today’s Gospel is the sequel to the parable of the seed.  He is not talking to the people in general but to the disciples who are especially gifted.  But he uses the same language as yesterday to challenge his disciples to look beyond the surface meaning and see the hidden message in the parable.  Jesus says: “Anyone who has ears to hear ought to hear.”   

Since Jesus is addressing his disciples, what does it all mean to us?  Well, we are the chosen people now; and we are also his disciples.  Jesus intent was to propagate the Christian message throughout the world.  All of us are blessed as the House of Israel was blessed by virtue of our membership in the people of God.  We achieve that membership when we are Baptized into the Church.  

And when we are Baptized, the Priest or Deacon Says: “I anoint you as priest, prophet and king.”  And so, we are sent out to be God’s witnesses to the end of the earth.  This means that although Jesus was addressing His disciples in real time; He is addressing all of us today.   

You see, our Church needs witnesses; witnesses who are not afraid to share their knowledge, to share the light of Christ that they have received.  And what is more, this is what God expects of us.   

In fact, the disciples are being told that just because they have been chosen to hear about the kingdom of God directly,  They are not to keep it to themselves;  They are to spread that light, let it shine everywhere.  It would be inappropriate for them to keep this “secret” knowledge to themselves; and it would be unacceptable for them to receive special “gifts” and not use them to spread that message.   

Then Jesus repeats his challenge to the disciples a second time.  He says: Take care what you hear”.  And tells them: “The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you, and still more will be given to you”.  And: “To the one that has, more will be given; from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”   

When we come into this beautiful building to worship, we experience a communal bond of fellowship and common belief.  It reinforces our faith and makes it vibrant and strong, especially when we receive the Eucharist.  But, this morning’s message is that this is not enough.  It is not enough for us to just support each other and to be comfortable in our faith.  The secular world is out there, and the light we have cannot be hidden in this Church.  It needs to be spread all around.   

Just like the disciples, all of us have been gifted in special ways.  God wants us to use those gifts to be his witnesses.  We should not hide these talents and savor our knowledge in closed communities.  If we do, we may just lose what we have.  We are the people of God now and it is our job, all of us, to spread the light of Christ.  In today’s world, the folks all around us are in just as much need of enlightenment as those in the remote corners of the world. 

So, let your light shine. 


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