The 34th Wednesday in Ordinary Time
(Daniel 5: 1-6, 13-14, 16-17, 23-28, Luke 21: 12-19)
“The God in whose hand is your life breath and the whole course of your life, you did not glorify” (Dan. 5:23). These words are somewhat shocking to the ear, seeing as we live in a society that chooses to restrict God and his Word to the confines of the church building. We have been created by God, in his image and likeness. Faith is intended to be the very air we breathe. Saint Paul wrestles with the problem of passing on the faith. “How can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone announcing the message to them?” (Rom. 10:14) This announcement is not to be made only in word but also in deed. We are called to live as children of the Kingdom of Light and be the Gospel the world encounters.
Saint Paul wrote to the Church in Philippi. “We are different because our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20). This citizenship is intended to impact the way we talk and live. It all begins at home. It is within the family that children are raised and formed as human beings. It is there that children first experience love and discipleship. Under the loving care of faith-filled parents, they learn endurance and the joy of work, fraternal love, generosity, forgiveness, and above all divine worship in prayer and the offering of one’s life.
Faith-life has to be nurtured. It is not acquired by osmosis. The family has a primary role in the faith formation of each of its members. This is beautifully brought out in the rite of baptism. “This light is entrusted to you [parents and godparents] to be kept burning brightly. This child of yours has been enlightened by Christ. He (she) is to walk always as a child of the light.” The home, the domestic church, is the place where the Most High dwells and where the Light of Christ is kept burning. We keep the Light of Christ bright and visible by giving everything over to God and thanking Him for everything that comes our way. Let us trust Him to know how, and to whom, our light should shine. We are called to be a candle in a lampstand, receiving everything from God: who is our purpose, our life, and our flame. Once we have been nurtured and strengthened at home, we should be able to endure all the challenges life presents us with as we seek to serve the Kingdom of our loving Father.
The world has a way of wearing us down. It entices us with distractions, temptation, and entertainment, promising us happiness but never fully satisfying us. When we focus on these earthly things our eyes are drawn from the “things above.” Christ has called us to be bold and fearless to produce the first fruits of the new creation through the love of Christ, who has grasped us and overwhelmed us with all the power of His tender compassion.
Let us lift our eyes and stand as tall as the heavens. Let us live with nothing else but the bond between God who is above, and we who are below. Let us keep the Light of Christ bright and visible by giving everything over to God and thanking Him for what each day brings. Let us trust God to know how, and to whom, our light should shine. May He bring us all together to everlasting life. Amen.