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Wednesday, February 2, 2005

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Presentation of the Lord

Malachi 3:1-4
Hebrews 2:14-18
Psalm 24
Luke 2:22-40

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light on your feet

"A revealing Light to the Gentiles..." —Luke 2:32

In the time of Jesus, light came from fire. Electricity and light bulbs did not exist. People had to "light a lamp" in order for light to be produced. Darkness could not be overcome unless something was set on fire (see Mt 4:16).

Jesus, the Light (Lk 2:32; Jn 8:12), came "to light a fire on the earth" (Lk 12:49). When Jesus ministered to people, their hearts burned inside them (Lk 24:32) and they passed on that light to others (Lk 24:33ff). The Church teaches us this truth so vividly at the beautiful Easter Vigil liturgy. The church building is in darkness, and the light of Jesus is passed from one person's candle to another. Soon, the entire church is illuminated by the strength of everyone's candlelight. Today's feast day, also known as Candlemas, also emphasizes the blessing of candles. You are a blessing (Gn 12:2) and a candle (Mt 5:14) for the Lord.

A bishop once told his priests: "Do not be so afraid of being burned out that you never catch on fire." Jesus wills to make us like the burning bush: totally ablaze with light, yet not consumed (see Ex 3:2). The sight of our burning, yet not burned out, lives will attract others, bring them into God's presence, and result in holy vocations and liberation (see Ex 3:3ff). God wills that even nations and world leaders should walk by our light (Is 60:3).

Jesus provides the light. All we must do is be willing to be set on fire. Be a "lamp, set aflame and burning bright" (Jn 5:35).

Prayer:  Come, Holy Spirit! Enkindle in us the fire of Your love.

Promise:  Jesus "is able to help those who are tempted." —Heb 2:18

Praise:  Praise Jesus, presented in the Temple, Who subjected Himself to the Law to set us free!

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.) (Presentation Ministries Discipleship Retreat, Beyond the Life in the Spirit Seminar, will be held Feb. 11-12, 2005 at St. Leo's Church in Cincinnati, OH. For information or to register, call 937-587-5464 or e-mail retreats@presentationministries.com)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Giles H. Pater, August 18 8, 2004

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 23, 2004