die and shine
"For my eyes have witnessed Your saving Deed displayed for all the peoples to see: a revealing Light to the Gentiles." —Luke 2:30-32
Today, throughout the world, the Church proclaims that Jesus is the Light to the nations and the Glory of Israel (Lk 2:32). However, "the Light came into the world, but men loved darkness rather than Light because their deeds were wicked" (Jn 3:19). Thus, Jesus was and is a "Sign of contradiction" for "the downfall and the rise of many in Israel" (see Lk 2:34). The message of today's feast day is highly controversial.
Jesus has promised to confirm the proclamation of the gospel, including today's gospel, with signs and wonders (Mk 16:20). Tomorrow, we will use the candles which are blessed today. Through St. Blase's blessing tomorrow, many will be healed and freed from the influence of the evil one. This will encourage all of us to accept the message of today's feast — to accept Jesus as the Light of the world and the Light of our life (see Jn 8:12).
If we accept Jesus as our Light, we will become lights ourselves (Mt 5:14). We will be like candles, giving forth light by being consumed. Yet we are hesitant to lose our life in order to give our light. By the graces of today and tomorrow, die and shine.
Prayer: Father, may darkness not overcome my light (see Jn 1:5).
Promise: "He is like the refiner's fire, or like the fuller's lye. He will sit refining and purifying."— Mal 3:2-3
Praise: Alleluia! Praise Jesus, the Sign of contradiction (Lk 2:34) and risen Lord! Alleluia!
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, August 1, 1996
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 6, 1996