Saint John Chrysostom (c.345-407), priest at Antioch then Bishop of Constantinople, Doctor of the Church
Homilies on St. Matthew’s Gospel, no.15
The lamp on the lamp stand
“Men do not light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket.” Through these words, Jesus again encourages his disciples to lead an irreproachable life by advising them to watch over themselves constantly, because they are placed in the sight of all humankind like athletes in a stadium, who are seen by the whole world (1 Cor 4,9).
He told them: “Don’t say to yourselves: ‘Now we can stay here quietly sitting, we are hidden in a little corner of the world,’ for you will be visible to all humankind, like a city on top of a mountain (Mt 5,14), like a light in the house that has been placed on the lamp stand… I have lit the light of your torch, but it’s up to you to see it is kept going, not just to your personal advantage, but also in the interest of all who will see it and who through it will be led to the truth. The worst wickedness won’t put a shadow over your light if you live with the vigilance of those who are called to bring the whole world to good. So let your life correspond to the holiness of your ministry so that God’s grace may be proclaimed everywhere.”
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