A Light to Reveal you to the Nations

Brothers and sisters, in this Sunday’s Gospel we commemorate the Presentation of our Lord Jesus Christ. I want to focus on that moment when Simeon exclaims that the Child Jesus will be a “light for revelation to the Gentiles.” This should remind us of what we say every night at Compline when we ourselves repeat Simeon’s words “My own eyes have seen the salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of every people: A light to reveal you to the nations.” Jesus Christ is that light who has come not only for the Jews, but the Gentiles as well. We ourselves, as members of Christ’s mystical body, are called to be Jesus to all those we encounter every day. So, the question I want us to ponder today is, How do I become that light? Let me propose three areas that are necessary for us to become a light to the nations.

First, we must be men and women of prayer. I know that some days it can be tough to take a break from the daily grind of life and devote at least some silent time in prayer with our Lord. We are to be conformed so much to the Heart of Jesus, that God Willing, when people encounter us, they encounter Jesus Christ. And so I re-emphasize what a priest told me earlier this year, that we should never let a day go by in which our eyes do not gaze upon the scriptures. Meditation on the Word, is necessary so that we can speak to the world about the person Jesus we claim to know at a Heart to Heart level.

Brothers and sisters, my second point is that our brotherly love is proof of our relationship with the Lord Jesus. About two weeks ago, my Bishop preached that we ought to meditate on those people who have carried us to Jesus Christ. And I bet for most of us, we can think of those people in our own particular lives that have been a light for us to Jesus. This is so, because not only do they know Jesus but they act like Jesus. So, this call to brotherly love is not just towards those whom we love, but also to those brothers and sisters who Drive us up the wall. Balthasar makes this point well, he writes, “this sinner, this unattractive and insignificant person, this avowed opponent of the Church and of Jesus Christ is in reality my brother; Jesus has borne his sins as he has borne mine.” We can never forget that we love Jesus as much as we lover our worst enemy. So, if we are going to be a light to the nations, our love for Christ must be authentic and nourished by the Word. It must call us to action as Batlthasar concludes: “The Christian, in love, should always be the first to act” (Prayer, 216).

Finally, to be another light, that is another Christ, we must let the Holy Spirit radiate through our lives. In both the baptism and transformation, the Holy Spirit shines upon Jesus revealing who he is and his love for the world. And so, let us be confident in the love that Jesus has for us, which is manifest through His Holy Spirit. Our response to this love must be to let it shine for those who have been blinded, by either the world or sin, from the Light.


Pax Christi,


Seeking Purity of Heart for the Lord

“But when, entering the Lord’s house once more, he heard in the Gospel the Lord saying, Do not be anxious about tomorrow, he could not remain any longer, but going out he gave those remaining possessions also to the needy.” Brothers and Sisters in Christ, these words from the Life of Saint Antony have interrogated my own life. Antony desired to be free from all attachments so that he could love, with a purity of heart, his Lord. To love our Lord with a purity of heart means to love freely; that is, free from all attachments.

I too, and I suspect most of us desire to fall in love with the Lord with this same purity of heart exemplified by Saint Antony. As most of you know, I am an avid sports fans. Besides watching football on most Saturdays and Sundays, I find myself checking my sports news at every moment of the day; since, modern technology allows me to carry around in my pocket access to all the breaking news in sports with the flick of a finger. My iPhone, also allows for me to carry around an electronic breviary, so that I can more easily pray without ceasing. And yet, I find that I can read twenty plus sports articles in one day, and at the same time, forget to pray daytime prayer. With both so readily available on my phone, the problem clearly then is not that there is not enough time in the day, but rather, that my heart does not belong completely to God. As Bernard of Clairvaux so eloquently puts it, “The minds of some men are on their plates, of others in their pockets. ‘Where your treasure is,’ he says, ‘there is your heart’ (Mt 6:21)”. For me, my mind is always on sports. I am a sports junkie.

All of us have these attachments that keep us from God. The question becomes, what are we to do about them? Not all of us are called to be like Antony. Certainly some of us may indeed sell all we have and go join a monastery, but for many of us, God is simply asking us to purge ourselves from these attachments. Cassain, another desert father writes, “Therefore, we must follow completely anything that can bring us to this objective, to this purity of heart, and anything which pulls us away from it must be avoided as being dangerous and damaging”. Cassain exhorts us to cut out anything in our lives that keeps us from this purity of heart. Thus, all of us must practice a spirit of asceticism in order to achieve this goal where our hearts can function in freedom; a freedom of true charity.

As a result, I firmly resolve to learn detachment from my phone, especially the sports apps, so that it will not distract me from loving my Lord with a purity of heart. Brothers and sisters in Christ, what are those attachments in your life that keep you from loving the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength? I urge you to ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten your conscience to those things that keep you away from His most sacred Heart. The goal is to fall in love and to stay in love with Jesus. Let us be edified by those Saints before us, and be moved to conversion.

Fraternally yours in Christ,