Monday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Today’s reading recounts Jesus's words that a light is put on a lamp-stand and not hidden. One of the great challenges we face in life is deciding what goes on our lampstand for public display. Ignatius identified the surest signs of moral decay: “The first step, then, will be riches, the second honor, and the third pride. From these three steps the evil one leads to all other vices.” The great temptation is to identify with standards that start with riches and honor. Getting ahead is a natural inclination. Darwin put the matter succinctly when he referred to the progress of nature as the survival of the fittest. Ignatius lays out the choice in terms of what nature we can follow in his meditation on the two standards. He notes the bling of evil against the simplicity of following Christ. Following Christ doesn’t mean you can’t iron your shirts, but it does mean that we may have to put on our lampstand a light that looks different from much around us.