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Thursday, January 30, 2003

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Hebrews 10:19-25
Psalm 24
Mark 4:21-25

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god's word for you

"Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket or under a bed, and not to be placed on a lampstand?" —Mark 4:21

The above Scripture verse instantly transformed my life. While attending a retreat twenty-six years ago, a friend wrote an encouraging note to me (see Heb 10:24-25) and concluded it with the above passage. I was intensely shy, attending the retreat only to gain solitude for prayer. My friend observed that God had given me spiritual gifts and a calling to share those gifts with a hurting world. The letter touched me, but it was the words of the Scripture that penetrated my timid heart (Heb 4:12). Rather than experiencing guilt and shame for gifts unused, Jesus' words ignited my heart with the desire of putting His light on the stand for others to see and glorify Him (Mt 5:16). Simultaneously, His words infused me with power, giving me a new heart to love others rather than fear them.

Jesus has a Scripture passage for you as well. His word for you is life-giving (Mt 4:4), liberating (Jn 8:31-32), and sustaining (Heb 1:3). His word will guide (Is 30:21) and direct your paths  (Ps 119:105). Read His word and find it. Perhaps God has already led you to that special Scripture. Your lamp is lit and you have placed it on the stand. Ask God for more; give that word to others, "and still more will be given to you" (Mk 4:24). God surely wants to use you as He used my friend: to sow His word abundantly (Mk 4:14). The Scripture you sow will not return to God void, but shall achieve His purposes in this world (Is 55:11).

Prayer:  Father, may Catholics increasingly hear, love, read, understand, live, and spread Your word.

Promise:  "Let us hold unwaveringly to our confession that gives us hope, for He Who made the promise is trustworthy." —Heb 10:23

Praise:  Mort lived for his carousing and profane binges. After the deaths of two drinking buddies, Mort wept on his bar stool, bowed his head, surrendered his life to Jesus, and came back to the Church.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by one of our editors.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend David L. Zink, June 12, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 13, 2002