Matins Devotion: September 28, 2023
When Jesus tells us to let our good works shine before the world so that others may see our good works and give glory to God the Father, how do we square this with his warning in the very same sermon, the Sermon on the Mount, that we should avoid practicing our righteousness before men? Jesus tells us to be light but also tells us not to let our right hand know what our left hand is doing. How, then, can we be light without knowing we’re light? How can we show our good works to others without making a show of our good works to others?
The answer to this riddle is found in the words of the beatitudes. How do you shine your light before the world? By rejoicing in the riches of Christ while the world makes you poor in spirit. By finding comfort in the promise of the resurrection while enduring the mournful nature of this world. By being content with the little that you have because the righteousness of Christ has filled your soul. By turning from arrogance and embracing meekness, knowing that, through Christ, you have inherited the very earth. By showing mercy because Christ showed you mercy. By showing the world the God you see so clearly as you emulate the pure, forgiving heart of His Son. By seeking peace in a world of conflict because the sons of God share the irenic heart of their Father in heaven. By enduring persecution and hatred while loving those who persecute and hate you because your Brother first did the same to you.
If you want to be the light of the world without practicing your righteousness before men, you don’t need to be a famous philanthropist who names hospitals after himself. You just need to live with the confidence of a Christian and love those God places in front of you. Believe what the Holy Spirit proclaims to you. Be content with earthly little knowing you have eternal everything. Live like someone who knows that Christ is returning. Toss your grudges and your bitterness in the empty tomb of Jesus. Dry the tears of those who weep in front of you. Endure the arrows of this world that God has called you to endure. Let God hand you your good works and then let Him show you where to place them. Cling to Jesus Christ, the light from the light, and He will make you the light of the world.