Faith and Culture | Seeking a spotlight that will make us stand out
My sense is that few of us remember with detail what movie won the Oscar for the best motion picture of the year or who was recognized as the best supporting actor or actress. As for recalling the best musical score, only the die-hard Hollywood fans would be ready to answer this and similar questions. Truth be told, there are always a few in our midst who are very good at remembering.
While most of us may lag behind on our Hollywood facts, our search for the spotlight is never wanting. Culturally speaking, we are obsessed with competition and success, always seeking that prime-time spot that will make us stand out from the rest.
For example, we are willing to pay astronomical amounts of money to air a Super Bowl commercial for a few seconds because we believe it will give us the right publicity. TV shows and programs evolve around finding the best airtime available. Indeed, our whole entertainment industry is set up to maximize and garner people's attention.
In our own personal lives, this propensity to seek the limelight often translates into a myriad of choices that mimic what we see famous people doing and sporting. We pay attention to brand names, seek to look fashionable, and seek associations with those who posses greater notoriety. And when the right occasion arises, we take pride in dropping a name or two.
In our professional world, we develop our personalized websites, blogs and Facebook accounts; we join networks such as LinkedIn, and pursue memberships in credible professional associations -- all promising to highlight the best of who we are and can be.
Without casting any negative judgment on this basic human drive to assert our identity in a sea of millions, it is worthwhile to remember that we are heirs to the greatest spotlight that has ever existed: Jesus Christ, who is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13: 8). It is this image of Christ that we are invited to follow and emulate.
We know from our faith that each one of us is indeed made in the image and likeness of God -- the Imago Dei. The recognition we often yearn for is already embedded in our hearts. In this context of belief, the brightness the world can offer us pales in comparison to the brightness that comes to us freely in Christ Jesus.
Only through Him, with Him and in Him can we really find our luminous dignity: "You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lamp stand, and gives light to all in the house" (Matthew 5:14-15). Yet, many of us find it difficult to allow this Son-light to shine through us, especially in our public life.
Now is the opportune time to shine brightly so that others may see the goodness in us and give glory to God. Now is the right occasion to drop the name that is above every other name so that others may know the company we keep (Philippians 2:9-12). As we go into the world, let us not forget to kneel before our spotlight.
Orozco is director of Hispanic ministry for the archdiocese.
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