Monday, January 6, 2014

“Those who are called to the table of the Lord must glow with the brightness.”

“To evangelize means: to show this path—to teach the art of living. At the beginning of his public life Jesus says: I have come to evangelize the poor (Luke 4:18); this means: I have the response to your fundamental question; I will show you the path of life, the path toward happiness—rather: I am that path.” --Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger on the New Evangelization

Gospel Text: (MT 4:12-17, 23-25)
When Jesus heard that John had been arrested,
he withdrew to Galilee.
He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea,
in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali,
that what had been said through Isaiah the prophet
might be fulfilled:

Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles,
the people who sit in darkness
have seen a great light,
on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death
light has arisen.

From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say,
“Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

He went around all of Galilee,
teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom,
and curing every disease and illness among the people.
His fame spread to all of Syria,
and they brought to him all who were sick with various diseases
and racked with pain,
those who were possessed, lunatics, and paralytics,
and he cured them.
And great crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, and Judea,
and from beyond the Jordan followed him.

Of course great crowds followed Jesus—he was magnetic! Who wouldn’t want to be around him? His whole being radiated the power and love of God.

Do you know what? Jesus is calling you to be a spiritual magnet as well. It’s true!

It really is true! And whatever he calls you to do, he empowers you to do. Every time you sit with him in personal prayer, every time you worship him with your brothers and sisters at Mass, every time you open your heart in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, he fills you with his love so that you can give it away. He wants you to bring light to people in the shadows, healing to people who are hurting, and hope to people caught in despair.

“But I am not flashy,” you say. “I am not naturally confident or a gifted speaker.” It doesn’t matter! People are going to be attracted to Christ in you, not you in you. The more you spend quality time with the Lord each day, the more you will take on Jesus’ character. And that will make you more magnetic. Your joy, your peace, and your love will grow—and people will be attracted to you. The Spirit in you will be contagious, reaching out to people and opening their hearts to the Lord.

Always remember this: Jesus Christ crosses the paths of the lives of many people who are not interested in Him. A little effort from “us” can change their lives and in doing so they can find the King of Joy and Peace. This requires a willingness to look for Him daily on the part of all Baptized Catholics, to move around, to ask without losing heart —like the Three Wise Men— to leave our comfort, our routine. It requires an effort.

When we walk with that Spirit and hold on to Christ, each moment presents us with the capability for bringing joy into the world, a deep lasting joy that can make this world a better place.

If you are what you are meant to be, you will set the world on fire. - St. Catherine of Siena

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