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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

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St. Vincent de Paul

Zechariah 8:20-23
Psalm 87:1-7
Luke 9:51-56

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lighten up!

"In those days ten men of every nationality, speaking different tongues, shall take hold, yes, take hold of every Jew by the edge of his garment and say, 'Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.' " —Zechariah 8:23

Jesus always attracted people to Himself. The rich, poor, pagans, religious, sinners, and other groups of people flocked to Jesus in great crowds. Much like a bright light attracts insects at night, Jesus, "the Light of the World" (Jn 9:5), attracts people.

As disciples of Jesus, we "possess the light of life" (Jn 8:12). We "are the light of the world" (Mt 5:14) because we are in Jesus the Light. Since Jesus shines through us, people will be attracted to us (cf Zec 8:23) and thus to Jesus through us.

Why aren't people flocking en masse to our churches? One possibility is that we, Jesus' disciples, aren't living in His light. Our worldly lifestyle blinds us to the light (2 Cor 4:4) and dulls our sensitivity to the seriousness of our sins. Thus, we become opaque and the light of Jesus doesn't shine brightly through us.

Repent! Die to yourself (Jn 12:24), take up your cross anew each day (Lk 9:23), and be crucified to the world (Gal 6:14). "Awake, O sleeper, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light" (Eph 5:14). Let Jesus remove your opaqueness and make you transparent. "Live as children of light" (Eph 5:8) and let Jesus use you as a lighthouse to bring many thousands to Himself.

Prayer:  Jesus, consume me with the fire of Your love (Heb 12:29). May nations walk by Your light shining through me (Is 60:3).

Promise:  "Many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem." —Zec 8:22

Praise:  St. Vincent was sold into slavery but miraculously escaped two years later. He continues to inspire and be a light as he guides others to be generous to the poor and needy.

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

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 1, 2011

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