Let Your Light Shine

In His Sermon on the Mount, Christ entrusted His followers with this task: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matt 5:16). Hear how His followers comment on the task at hand:

St Peter at Rome

Christ is saying: “[Teach] with so pure a light, that men may not only hear your words, but see your works, that those whom as lamps ye have enlightened by the word, as salt ye may season by your example. For by those teachers who do as well as teach, God is magnified; for the discipline of the master is seen in the behaviour of the family.” -Pseudo-Chrysostom

“The lamp is the Divine word, of which it is said, ‘Thy word is a lamp unto my feet’ (Ps 119:105). They who light this lamp are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” -Pseudo-Chrysostom

Christ Taking Leave of the Apostles by Duccio di Buoninsegna

“He instructs the Apostles to shine with such a light, that in the admiration of their work God may be praised.” -St. Hilary of Poitiers

“Had He only said, ‘That they may see your good works,’ He would have seemed to have set up as an end to be sought the praises of men, which the hypocrites desire; but by adding, ‘and glorify your Father,’ he teaches that we should not seek as an end to please men with our good works, but referring all to the glory of God, therefore seek to please men, that in that God may be glorified.” -St. Augustine

“He means not that we should seek glory of men, but that though we conceal it, our work may shine forth in honour of God to those among whom we live.” -St. Hilary of Poitiers

Quotations from St. Thomas Aquinas, Catena Aurea: Commentary on the Four Gospels Collected Out of the Works of the Fathers, Vol. I, Part I (Oxford: John Henry Parker, 1841).

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