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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

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St. Ephrem

2 Corinthians 1:18-22
Psalm 119:129-133, 135
Matthew 5:13-16

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watching the high lights

"A city set on a hill cannot be hidden." —Matthew 5:14

Once we commit our lives to Jesus and let our light shine publicly, there's no turning back. Our lives can no longer be hidden (Mt 5:14) once we step out in faith as witnesses for Jesus on the job, in the neighborhood, in the public arena, etc. When we come into the light to let the world know that we live in Jesus the Truth (Jn 3:21; 14:6), people are now watching us to see whether we will falter or stay faithful to Jesus. If we let our light shine before men, and then turn away from following Jesus and turn back to a worldly lifestyle, we are "unfit" to give glory to the kingdom of God (Lk 9:62).

The public credibility of the kingdom of God is at stake, and we are on display. We are vulnerable. We have put ourselves in a position where we desperately need the Holy Spirit day by day, moment by moment, to keep us "set aflame and burning bright" (Jn 5:35). Satan will tempt us to take a "breather" by stepping out of the hot lights into the darkness (see Jn 3:19); however, stepping away from Jesus is the devil's trap. We must continually come to Jesus (Mt 11:28), and never move away from Him. Jesus will always give us light (Eph 5:14).

We must fix our eyes on Jesus (Heb 3:1), the Light of the World (Jn 8:12). "Walk in light, as He is in the light" (1 Jn 1:7).

Prayer:  Father, let the light of Your face shine on me (Ps 119:135) that I may shine before men so that they may see my good works, and give praise to You (Mt 5:16).

Promise:  "It is He Who anointed us and has sealed us, thereby depositing the first payment, the Spirit, in our hearts." —2 Cor 1:21-22

Praise:  St. Ephrem shone a light by composing hymns and songs that proclaimed truth and combated heresy. He took the Light he found in the desert back to the people in darkness in the cities.

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

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 5, 2009

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