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Saturday, February 2, 2019

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Presentation of the Lord

Malachi 3:1-4
Hebrews 2:14-18
Psalm 24:7-10
Luke 2:22-40

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"consuming fire" (heb 12:29)

"My eyes have witnessed Your saving Deed displayed for all the peoples to see: a revealing Light to the Gentiles." —Luke 2:30-32

Jesus is the Light of the world (see Lk 2:32; Jn 8:12). "He is like the refiner's fire" (Mal 3:2). He is "a consuming Fire" (Heb 12:29).

We are like candles. We give light (Mt 5:14) only through being consumed by God's love. The Lord is lighting several people now with priestly and religious vocations. If you let the Lord light the candle of your life, your light will shine very brightly. Through your vocation as a priest, sister, brother, or deacon, you will lead thousands into God's kingdom of light. These vocations will consume you. They will burn up your time, energy, sexuality, and money. These vocations will burn your life down to nothing.

The Lord is lighting most of the people who are reading this book with the vocation of marriage. If you let the Lord light you, you will be consumed by your unconditional love for your spouse and your unconditional acceptance of the children God will give you. If you are already married, you are tempted to blow your light out because you want more time and money for yourself. Your marriage and family are taking up your whole life. Yet don't blow out your light. If you try to save your life from being consumed, you will lose your life (Lk 9:24).

The Lord is lighting a number of select people to the lay single vocation. Your light will shine in the secular society of politics, business, education, medicine, mass media, entertainment, etc. Your light can shine in the midst of a culture of death with a special intensity.

Let Jesus light your candle and consume you in His love.

Prayer:  "Refiner's Fire, my heart's one desire is to be holy, set apart for You, Lord" (from the song, "Refiner's Fire").

Promise:  "He will purify the sons of Levi, refining them like gold or like silver that they may offer due sacrifice to the Lord." —Mal 3:3

Praise:  Alleluia! Praise Jesus, the sign of contradiction (Lk 2:34).

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 24, 2018

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