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Thursday, July 13, 2006

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St. Henry

Hosea 11:1-4, 8-9
Psalm 80
Matthew 10:7-15

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light on your feet

"I will not let the flames consume you." —Hosea 11:9

Recently, my house caught on fire. My son, a seminarian, was asleep in the bedroom next to the room where the fire raged. He and I fled through the smoke without time to save any of his possessions. Hours later, after the firemen extinguished the blaze, we were allowed to return to the house to inspect the damage. My son's room was charred, and many of his possessions were destroyed in the fire. His guitar, which he uses frequently to lead people in worshipping God, had been lying unprotected by his bed. It was covered with soot and ashes. Though the fire had blazed around the guitar, incredibly it was undamaged, and miraculously was still in tune.

God wants us to be like that guitar. We are instruments of God, to be used for His glory. A fiery, spiritual battle rages around us, and we're naturally afraid of getting burned. But God is our Protector, and He promises: "When you walk through fire, you shall not be burned; the flames shall not consume you" (Is 43:2).

We are to be like the burning bush, ablaze with the fire of the Spirit yet not burned out (Ex 3:2). We must let our God, Who is a consuming Fire (Heb 12:29), make of us a "lamp, set aflame and burning bright" (Jn 5:35).

Jesus has come to set a fire on the earth (Lk 12:49). Don't be afraid of burnout. Be His lanterns. Be "the light of the world" (Mt 5:14). Let nations walk by His light shining through your life (cf Is 60:3).

Prayer:  Father, may I not be so afraid of getting burned that I never catch fire for You.

Promise:  "The reign of God is at hand!" —Mt 10:7

Praise:  St. Henry, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, let nations walk by God's light as he ruled with strong Christian principles and sweeping acts of charity.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 12, 2005

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