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Beacon Of Light… Live Your Faith Brightly

June 30, 2020 Frontpage No Comments

By FR. RICHARD D. BRETON JR.

Do you know what day it is? Do you know what month it is? Finding the answer to these questions is very simple. All we do is look at the calendar! What about if we asked these same questions, but asked them about the Church’s calendar? Do you know what day the Church is celebrating today? Do you know what season the Church is celebrating?
The answer to these questions is very similar to the previous two questions. We look at the Church calendar!
The Church’s calendar begins on the First Sunday of Advent and concludes with the celebration of the Solemnity of Christ the King of the Universe, which is usually the last weekend in November. The Church year is broken up into five seasons: Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, and Ordinary Time.
Within the course of these seasons we also celebrate the Solemnities of the Lord and of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Feasts of Apostles and Martyrs, Commemoration of the Faithful Departed, and various other saints.
Having celebrated the Solemnity of Pentecost, we enter Ordinary Time until late November. Ordinary Time is far from being ordinary. I find it filled with great opportunities to come to understand our faith better. I like to think of Ordinary Time as Jesus’ time to shine!
How did Jesus teach the multitudes about the Kingdom of God? He used stories, or parables. Jesus understands human nature better than we do. That’s because He was part of our creation. Jesus recognized the benefit of teaching through parables. He used simple parables to illustrate either a moral attitude or a religious principle to follow.
Jesus teaches so much about the Kingdom of God. He also teaches about God’s intimate relationship of love with His people.
One parable in Matthew’s Gospel is particularly relevant: The Parable of the Light. This parable begins in chapter five with verses 14-16. Here is what Jesus says:
“You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain cannot be hid. (15) Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house. (16) So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
I love how the Lord challenges us to live our faith. He tells us to live our faith brightly! The imagery used is very easy to understand. We are the light of the world because we have the Light of Christ within us. The light within us cannot be hidden. So often we hide our faith from others. We put our faith under a bushel basket, to hide it. Sometimes we do this because we are not comfortable with our faith, so we pick and choose which parts we will live.
Unfortunately, we are called to live ALL the faith. In the Rite of Baptism, we receive the Light of Faith. The light of our faith is forever within us and we are instructed to keep the flame of faith alive. If we hide our faith under a bushel basket, we fail in living out our baptismal promises. The light of faith is meant to be like a candlestick that illuminates the house for all to see.
Imagine if we lived in an era with no electricity. When darkness sets, we would have to use a light in order to see as we moved around our homes. The same is true in living our faith.
What image can we use today to help us understand this? In August of 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Louisiana as a Category 5 storm devastating New Orleans and the surrounding area. Just days before I visited New Orleans on my way to Houston, Texas, to begin a new position as a hospital chaplain. Within days of the storm hitting New Orleans, residents were rescued and evacuated to the hospital where I was working.
As I ministered to the patients, I heard so many stories of people struggling to survive. It was very sad.
There was one lady who told me her story of survival. She decided to ride out the storm. Soon she realized the storm was bigger than she thought. As the water began to rise, she found herself moving to higher ground. The water invaded the first floor of her home, forcing her upstairs to the second floor. Soon the water began to climb the stairs to the second floor.
As the water crept up inch by inch, she got more and more scared. She began to pray asking for help. Lord Help Me, she prayed!
Continuing to rise, the water took over the second floor and she was forced into the attic. As the water rose in the attic, the woman was forced out of a small hatch, leaving her clinging to the roof. She explained how she held on for hours praying the entire time. Soon she was rescued and found herself at my hospital for treatment. As she shared her story, she shed tears. Over and over she expressed how her faith enabled her to not give up! She believed the Lord would save her. And He did! I could share countless other stories where the light of faith was the strength necessary to persevere. We are all called to allow the light of faith to shine brightly.
So often we allow the light of faith to dim within us. How does this happen? Very simply put, we become lax in our faith. Faith takes a back seat in our lives, while other aspects become more important.
Take, for instance, today’s modern family. In many families both parents work to support the family. Parents often find themselves helping their children who are involved in so many activities. Some activities include sports, dance, playing a musical instrument, cheerleading, or many others.
Sadly, these activities have taken over family life. Families hardly pray together anymore; and Mass attendance has suffered. In my current parish assignment, I have difficulty finding altar servers because Church isn’t a priority anymore. Other activities have superseded Sunday Mass.
The Mass is where we renew the light of faith! The Mass is where we interact with the Divine! The Mass is where we offer thanksgiving to the Lord!

Let Your Light Shine

Recently the celebration of daily Mass was restored within my diocese. On the first day of public daily Mass, I was curious to see the reaction of the people. It was astonishing! There was a lady who came forward to receive Holy Communion who lit up with joy! She was so happy she cried uncontrollably. It was such a poignant moment because it highlighted how important it was for her to receive Our Lord Jesus. Many similar incidents have happened, showing the great love people have for the Eucharist.
Remember the questions I asked above? What season is the Church celebrating today? We celebrate the season of our faith! During Ordinary Time, we participate in extraordinary moments of faith. We are the Light of the World! We are called to remove the bushel basket and the obstacles that hinder us from living our faith. We are called to be beacons of Light.
“So, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16).

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Please educate yourself on this! Toward the end of this statement 2 points are made that are contrary to FAITH...#1 opposing the nuclear family (where is dad?) and #2 opposing God’s plan for sex as a union of male & female. This agenda is DANGEROUS!

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Likely two more Supreme Court appointments likely in the next presidential term. Something to consider. The conservative majority is a myth. Roberts has proven himself to be another leftist. Thank Bush for this one.

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