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Shine even if others can’t face the light – it’s your duty


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Fr. Luigi Maria Epicoco - published on 09/19/22

You have a duty to shine; it is others who must convert from their inability to face the light. Today's commandment is simple: Always shine.

Today’s readings can be found here. Read Fr. Epicoco’s brief reflections on the daily Mass readings, Monday through Saturday, here. For Sunday Mass reading commentary from Fr. Rytel-Andrianik, see here.

There’s a great lesson that we often overlook in our lives, and Jesus in today’s Gospel reminds us of it: When you have something good in your life, this good must be able to shine, to shed light on everyone else as well.

No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel or sets it under a bed; rather, he places it on a lampstand so that those who enter may see the light.

The problem, however, arises from the fact that very often we cover up these good things. Generally, it’s for one of two reasons. Either we don’t think much of ourselves, and thus disdain ourselves to the point of lacking realism, not realizing that we’re not only flaws and problems, but also good things; or we hide the good in us because we fear the envy of those around us.

Neither of these options is trivial. The first reminds us that we cannot bless life in any way until we make peace with ourselves. We can have the most wonderful talents in the world, but they’re of no use if we don’t truly love ourselves.

The second is that envy unfortunately exists and consists mainly of an inability to enjoy the good of others. But even though it exists, we cannot let our lives be decided by other people’s envy.

You have a duty to shine; it is others who must convert from their inability to face the light. Today’s commandment is simple: Always shine. This is the greatest favor we can do ourselves and the rest of the world.


Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

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