EVERY CHILD’S BOWL OF LIGHT
This week our Gospel from St. Matthew offers us some much needed comfort. Events of the past months from the worldwide pandemic to scenes of violence and cries for justice have caught many of us off balance. We add to that the personal issues and concerns each of us confront daily and we find ourselves searching for some relief, for some peace, some sense of normalcy, some light in such darkness. I recently came across a thought that seemed appropriate for us this week.
In their book
The Tales from the Night Rainbow,
Pali Jae Lee and Koko Willis recount this parable from Hawaiian folklore:
“Each child, it is believed, is born with a bowl of perfect light. If the child tends the light, it will grow in strength and the girl or boy can swim with the sharks, fly with the birds, and know and understand all things. But if the child, along the path of his or her life, becomes envious, jealous, fearful, or angry, each of these emotions becomes like a stone that the child places in their bowl of light. As a result, some of the light goes out because the stone and the light cannot hold the same space. If the child continues on this path, the child becomes heavy like a stone; a stone cannot move, and a stone cannot grow. But if at any time the child tires of being a stone, all she or he needs to do is turn their bowl upside down: the stones will fall away and the child’s light will shine once more.”
In every life there are moments when we are overwhelmed by “stones” of grief, disappointment, despair, hopelessness. But Jesus promises in this weekend’s Gospel that the light of God is always in our “bowl” if we are wise and humble enough to turn our bowl upside down and let the stones fall away and the light return. Turning over a life full of stones is not easy and often requires the help of others — sometimes we are called to offer our understanding, patience and generosity to help other souls cast their stones aside.
Each time we gather at mass and celebrate the Eucharist, Jesus calls us to embrace a vision of hope that matches our uncertainty of the unknown with the certainty of the love of God. This hope can only be found and embraced when we reach beyond our own fears to confront the fears and heal the hurts of others. This is the hope of all the “Good Fridays” of our lives that can be transformed into Easter joy and new life.
Once again this weekend we will welcome back to public worship our parishioners. We look forward to seeing those who feel comfortable and well enough to join with us and share this promise of renewed hope that Christ can bring us. We will continue to live stream our weekend liturgy for all to share in God’s blessings of the liturgy.