Light enlightens

Pencil Preaching for Monday, September 20. 2021

“No one who lights a light conceals it” (Luke 8:18).

Ezra 2:1-6; Luke 8:6-18

Today’s Gospel about light affirms one of Pope Francis’ reflections on the importance of discernment. Just as physical sight requires light, so insight comes only with careful and prayerful thought in the light of God’s presence in all things. The discerning person is constantly absorbing and processing his or her experience of life, with God in mind. Faith is not just ideas but the active investigation of how God is being revealed in our daily journey.

Jesus addresses people’s perceptions and attitudes as the source of their behavior. People stumble because they are blind to reality. Even learned teachers and leaders can be blind if they let their prejudices distort their experience. Jesus is the light coming into a world darkened by sin and human pride. His disciples carry this light, which enables them to be discerning. As Pope Francis said, “The wisdom of discernment redeems the necessary ambiguity of life and helps us find the most appropriate means.”  We can then act wisely and effectively.

Faith is our response to God’s revelation of the truth to be found in Jesus. Our relationship to him opens our minds and hearts to ongoing insights that enrich our lives. Those who have insight will gain even greater insight as they learn more and more about themselves and the world. Those without insight become more myopic, narrow-minded and blind, until they stumble and fall. But disciples are in the world to share the light with everyone, to be guides for others. We welcome today by being "Christophers" -- bearers of light.

Reprinted from 2013

Pat Marrin

Pat is the former editor of our sister publication, Celebration, and he also served as NCR cartoonist. After retirement in 2016, Pat continues to contribute to NCR with his Francis comic strip and Pencil Preaching. Contact him at

Join the Conversation

Send your thoughts and reactions to Letters to the Editor. Learn more here