13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled underfoot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. 15 No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lamp-stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 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.
In the song “Instant Karma” John Lennon told us that: “We all shine on”; this sounds a lot like what Jesus tells us in today’s Gospel, when he reminds us “You are the light of the world” and then calls upon us to share our light with the world!
As single parents we may sometimes feel as if we have put aside our hopes and dreams in favor of ensuring that our children get off to a good start. Life as a single parent can be very hectic, and in the middle of all this activity it can be easy to forget to let our own light shine, as it often seems as if there is very little time left over to pursue our own desires as our kids always come first.
Some of us may even find ourselves attempting to live out our un-finished dreams through our children, pushing them to excel at (or at least to try) some of the things we enjoy doing: sports, music, drama, academics, etc. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as it can be a way for our children to discover something they are good at and enjoy doing. The only trouble would come if we were to push them too hard in a direction that we want them to go but that they have no interest in pursuing. Sometimes it is important to know when to back-off and let our children find their own way, their own light, so that it too can shine.
But what about our light? Do we simply put it out, or hide it under a bushel basket until our kids are older and we have time to let it shine? Has our salt lost it’s taste?
No…it has not, and our light still shines on, but often in unexpected ways.
Maybe our light shines as we volunteer to help out in Sunday School, or at our children’s school, when he offer our talents to help with a program, play or concert. Perhaps our light shines as a coach on a sports team, or by providing snacks to the team…maybe it is in fundraising to support some of these activities! Our light can shine in so many ways as we raise our children, even if it is giving other parents support and advice, helping out in a carpool, or hosting a sleepover which will allow a parent a much needed ‘night off’.
However, of all the ways that our light can shine as single parents, the most import and often most overlooked way is through our children. We may have given up some of our old hopes and dreams, or at least put them on hold, but we have taken on a greater task, something that will have an impact on generations to come: raising our children to be the best people they can be! We let our light shine when we offer guidance, support and love to our children, and teach them about living their faith and following the example of Christ…one day at a time, and in all they do!
Our light shines on through all we do, and that includes our children, and where this light shines, Christ is made known to the world, and where Christ is made known, God’s love is shared, and where this love is shared, there is hope in the promise of a new life, where we are one with God and with each other!
So if you feel as if your light has gone out, or has been hidden away, take comfort in knowing that we all shine on…maybe just not in the ways we expected…but more brightly than we ever imagined, especially as our light is not just shining for ourselves, but for out of love for our children, and a desire to follow the example of Christ. As long as we are following Christ, our light can never be hidden, or extinguished for the light that shines from us comes from the same light that illuminated the garden on that first Easter morning: the light of the Risen Christ, and is indeed the light of the world!
Let us Pray
God, thank you for giving us the light of your love through Christ. Help us to remember that we live in the light of Easter always, and that this light can never go out or be hidden. This world can seem like a dark place for many who have lost hope or feel that their lives have never had much light, help us to share our light with those who may feel lost in the darkness, as well as with our children, our loved ones and with the world in all that we do, by living our faith out loud on a daily basis.