This week during bible study, we looked at Ephesians 5:8-19. For us, the verses that fueled our discussion were 13-14:
when anything is exposed by the light it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light
The Church reads this Epistle on the feast of St. Spryidon. He was present at the First Ecumenical Council and was one of the stalwart supporters of the Orthodoxy against the Arians. He stood in Truth and shined a light on the darkness of Arianism.
In other words, if we stand in Truth, we have nothing to fear. No amount of light or scrutiny can challenge or cow us, because we are light — we stand in Truth. Those who hide in the dark — those who lie, cheat, bribe, etc. — cannot stand scrutiny or truth. They try to hide from it. An example of this is the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. Instead of standing in the Truth and being honest about their data, they manipulated data that didn’t match their desired outcome of proving man-made global warming and they tried to suppress any scientists who had findings that ran counter to the man-made global-warming narrative. When thousands of CRU e-mails and other documents were made public, the legitimacy of global-warming, especially of the man-made variety, was seriously compromised.
The Gospel Reading for this coming is from Luke 14:16-24 with the addition of Matthew 22:24. This is the parable of the man who gave a great banquet. Though this is normally understood to be a metaphor for the Kingdom and the Lord’s Table, our discussion focused on how the conduct of this man giving the banquet challenges us in our own hospitality.
Normally, when we take someone out for a meal (a client, for example) we expect something in return (more or continued business from the client). Note how the man invites the poor, and there is still more room. Further, he sends his servant out to the open road and hedgerows (places where highwaymen and robbers are).
We spoke about the difference between merely handing out food to the poor (and thus de-humanize them by treating them as we might cattle), and looking them in the eye and getting to know them as a human beings. St. Mary of Paris was adamant about this. She did not want any bread given to the poor unless they were acknowledged as human beings. She insisted that we see the image and likeness of God in them, so that they might know that they have value.