10_”How”: Light of the World, Lampstand and Magisterium

Like Moses, his priesthood and elders, and the Jewish Sanhedrin after them, the Church is “watched over” and illuminated by the ministry of the priestly and apostolic Magisterium. The Deposit of Faith, which includes the Bible and Sacred Tradition, has been guarded and preserved for us for two millennia by the teaching authority of the Church.

As Saint Paul commands, we need both scripture and tradition: “So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth [tradition] or by letter [scripture]” (2 Thess 2:15).

The world needs this light and truth. “There is an organic connection between our spiritual life and the dogmas. Dogmas are lights along the path of faith; they illuminate it and make it secure. Conversely, if our life is upright, our intellect and heart will be open to welcome the light shed by the dogmas of faith” (CCC 89).

Welcome Connie, Suzette, and Wayne, Bible Study Evangelista’s newest friends of the show! Thank you for loving and lifting me :)

LOVE the Word™ is a Bible study method based on Mary’s own practice: lectio without the Latin.

L – Listen (Receive the Word.)

O – Observe (Choose one or more of the following personality approaches to connect the passage to your life and recent events.)

F | Franciscan – How can you be light to a neighbor today? Who can you actively serve?

I | Ignatian – Choose one of the references below (under Notes and References) and place yourself in the situation. What do you hear, see, feel, smell?


If you were the priest in charge of the OT tabernacle sanctuary where the lampstand was, and had charge of keeping it lit, what would you be thinking as you entered through the curtain to fill the lamps? What might you hear? Smell? Feel?

A | Augustinian – How will your light shine today and this week?

T | Thomistic – Research how the seven lampstands surrounding Jesus in the heavenly temple could be symbolic of the “seven eras” of church history.

V – Verbalize (Pray about your thoughts and emotions.)

Remembering that He loves you and that you are in His presence, talk to God about the particulars of your O – Observe step. You may want to write your reflections in your LOVE the Word journal. Or get a free journal page and guide in the right-hand margin.

E – Entrust (May it be done to me according to your word!)

Jesus, Light of the World, For the many that have followed you today through the darkness of temptation, doubt, or pain, you are the promise of an eternal dawn. We give thanks for all that has been given to us through you, and we ask for the grace to be our faithful disciples. May we praise you all the days of our lives. Amen +


*LOVE the Word™ exercises are offered according to FIAT: the four personalities, or “prayer forms,” explored in Prayer and Temperament, by Chester Michael and Marie Norrisey: Franciscan, Ignatian, Augustinian, and Thomistic: FIAT! These prayer forms correspond to the Myers-Briggs personality types.

Notes and References

Exodus 25:31-40, The golden lampstand, or menorah, in the tabernacle

Exodus 27:20-21, Perpetual light

Leviticus 24:3-4, The priests kept the wicks trimmed, the oil topped, and the lamps burning before the Lord continuously.

Exodus 28:29-30, Urim and Thummim in the HIgh Priest’s breastplate of judgment. Urim = “Lights” and Thummim = “Perfect Truths” both superlative plural

  • Sirach 45:10, together the names mean something similar to “Perfect Knowledge.”
  • Numbers 27:21, used to consult God about His selection of leaders
  • 1 Samuel 14:41, used to determine guilt or innocence
  •  Ezra 2:63, used to determine God’s will regarding returning captives

Other occurrences of “light” in the Old Testament

  • Genesis 1:1-5 – light of creation
  • Exodus 10:21-23 – Egyptian plague of darkness in which only the Israelites had light
  • Exodus 13:17-22 – pillar of cloud and fire
  •  Psalm 27:1 – the Lord is my Light and my salvation, or “saving light”
  •  Isaiah 60:19 – “the Lord will be to you an everlasting light”
  •  Job 29:3 – light in the darkness
  •  Micah 7:8 – “God will be a light to me.”

John 8:12-59, In the Old Testament, light was synonomous with God’s presence, so when Jesus said “I am the Liight of the world,” they understood He was claiming to be God.

John 7:2, Jesus made this claim at the Feast of Tabernacles. The first evening of the festival was called the “Illumination of the Temple” in which four great lampstands were set ablaze in the temple to symbolize the presence of God among them in the pillar of light through the wilderness.

John 1:1-14, Christ—Word and Light


Exodus 18:13-27, Jethro counsels Moses to form a tribunal to assist him in adjudicating for the people. Later, this judgment seat came to be known as The Chair of Moses, and the tribunal the Sanhedrin Court (Numbers 11:16-17).

Matthew 23:2, The Chair of Moses was a phrase used to signify the place of authority that the Scribes and Pharisees occupied in interpreting The Law and exercising authority over the Jewish people. Although they had become corrupt and spiritually dead, Jesus upheld their office of authority as a matter of obedience to God. Later, it because the Chair of Peter, cathedra.

Isaiah 22:15-25, To Peter, Jesus gave the “keys” of administrative and governing responsibilities for his “house,” established him on a glorious “seat” (throne or chair) from which he would adjudicate (“open and shut”), and made him a “father” to his people (pope, meaning papa): “You are Peter [meaning rock] and upon this rock I will build my church…” ( Matt 16:17-19). The Church of history fulfills Isaiah’s prophecy and upholds the office of Peter’s chair

Revelation 1:12-13, The seven lampstands surrounding Jesus in the heavenly temple depict Jesus at the center of the institutional, Catholic priesthood. In the same way, the same seven lampstands radiating outwardly from the Light of the World depict the whole of the historical Church, led by the episcopacy, as the sacred illumination of the world.

CCC 89: “There is an organic connection between our spiritual life and the dogmas. Dogmas are lights along the path of faith; they illuminate it and make it secure. Conversely, if our life is upright, our intellect and heart will be open to welcome the light shed by the dogmas of faith.”

Episode Resources

Fulfilled, Uncovering the Biblical Foundations of Catholicism, Part Two, Chapter 8, The Light of Truth

Ignite, Chapters 6 & 7, The How of the Bible

Come join the chatter on the Facebook community. Where do you search for light? Tell me your #LOVEtheWordtakeaway for this week’s show.  

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