the light

Sep 20, 2021

No one lights a lamp to cover it with a bowl or to put it under a bed.
No, he puts it on a lamp-stand so that people may see the light.’
Luke 8:16

I’ve been thinking about the lamp, the cover, the lamp-stand and the light. There’s a lot there, light and dark, and the image of each of us as a potential light for the world.

Considering the image it is helpful to remember that a lamp does not provide its own power. Perhaps it is oil, kerosine or electricity that gives the energy, and without these fuels there would be no light.

Last night a friend on the North Shore (Auckland) spent his lockdown evening with his telescope and camera and captured this image of Saturn.

It’s beautiful.

But remember that Saturn has no light of its own and is visible to us only because it is illuminated by the sun.

Rino sent me his pic today adding:

This picture was taken yesterday evening (18/09/2021) with a 10inch telescope on the North Shore. It takes sunlight 82 minutes to travel from the Sun to Saturn and other 77 minutes to travel from Saturn to Earth in this period of the year.”
The Church, which when healthy reflects the light of Christ to the world, too often (in the words of Pope Francis) begins to think of itself as the light, becoming “self-referential, and the evils which appear throughout history in Church institutions are rooted in their self-referentiality – a kind of theological narcissism.”   (Evangelii Gaudium)
The same risk exists for individuals: when we become focussed on ourselves, perhaps thinking that our projects, our plans, our achievements and personal attributes are the light that we and the world around us need.


  1. Being self referential as regards the light of Christ is to miss His way…ah, but so easy for us to slip into. John the Baptist said, He must become more and I must become less. The Pharisees denied the beauty and rightness of Jesus’ miracles that they could maintain their own self referential position and reputation. It’s so hard in the Western world’s self promoting 21st century culture to remember He is the light and we simply reflect that light.

  2. Thank you Rino for your amazing photo of Saturn. You have very much shared ‘light’ with us.

  3. A very moving reflection depicting the ‘heart’ of the light of the Universe, the World, Ourselves.

    I pray that we continue our journey in life to raise our consciousness and become more aware of our innate potential to be in communion with the spiritual essence of all creation. +

  4. Amazing!

    Interesting te reo Māori for ‘planet’ is whetū mārama, ā ‘star (reflecting) light ‘

  5. And Jesus himself sought no limelight: Get thee behind me Satan, he responded to Peter’s wish for earthly success. Mary said ‘Yes’ to unexpected new life. Paul said: I live, no, not I, Christ lives in me. Therefore, let us walk the way of Jesus Christ truthfully about our Providence that the light of God may create the world anew each day.


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