There is also a little, and easy-to-miss admonition in the first reading which is very important. "We should not absent ourselves from the assembly as some do, but encourage one another...". One of the important aspects of the Christian community gathering for worship is to be encouraged by the simple fidelity of the women and men who surround us. We can be attracted by the outer-ware of those standing and kneeling around us, but they have an inner-ware, a life which has and is calling them to their knees. We are moved by seeing widows who still believe even though their loved one has died. We are more eager to pick up our cross when we see the injured of body and spirit trusting the Promise-Maker. We need the encouragement of all our sisters and brothers in faith who bring their partially-broken lives to be blest by our loving God.
The Gospel, likewise, is a wonderful encouragement for us today. Jesus frees us from some form of false humility or puritanistic sense of shame which would keep us from letting our little light shine. We have been given gifts and they are now to be brought out and seen and heard. We ourselves are gifts, lights, meant to be seen and so reveal the Giver of all good things.
"Let those who have ears, let them hear." At the Eucharist, besides being encouraged by the faithful present around us, we literally hear who Jesus says we are, the Body of Christ. Our faith gives us the ears to hear and His Grace gives us the confidence needed to reveal Him in our good works of letting His light shine.
The measure we give out in love and forgiveness, we will be given and more besides. To those who have, more will be given. This is not materially speaking but more of His spirit will be given that we might manifest and reveal His goodness by our lives of faithful attendance, not only at our assemblies, but attendance at the liturgies of our every-day. It is the economy of God to give grace more to those who live gracefully and to those who have the ears to hear who God says they are. Once we hear, how can we keep from singing?
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