A Light for the Nations

BY BR. KEN HOMAN, S.J. | January 13, 2020
Sunday’s Readings
The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

I have called you for the victory of justice. What an incredible call! Each of us has an individual vocation. Amidst those individual calls, however, are the communal vocations that God offers us. We are called to a life of faith committed to justice. This call begins at our baptism, the baptism Jesus undergoes in the Gospel.

But this call to justice can easily feel overwhelming, burdensome, and lonely. In my own work of union organizing, research on Catholics and racism, and environmental justice, I often feel like a bruised reed or a smoldering wick. Despite my best efforts, the walls of injustice seem to be tipping over my head.

light for the nations

Yet God offers us the grace and strength to respond to that call. In an incredible act of love and solidarity, Christ becomes human. Christ responds to the same baptismal call, offering us companionship. God refuses to allow the bruised reed to snap. Instead, God grasps us by the hand. Moreover, God’s baptismal call is communal. We do not say “yes” on our own. We say “amen” together. The gift of community is vital for answering the call. In Acts, Peter gives these same assurances.

God promises to make us a light for the nations — this includes being a light for each other, searching for light in our communities. In this winter darkness, we might consider two questions: How do I share the light of Christ with those in darkness? And who in my community shows the light of Christ to me? Together, let us say “AMEN!” to God and God’s justice.

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