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Be the Light

First Reading: Ezekiel 43:1-7AB

The angel led me to the gate which faces the east,
and there I saw the glory of the God of Israel
coming from the east.
I heard a sound like the roaring of many waters,
and the earth shone with his glory.
The vision was like that which I had seen
when he came to destroy the city,
and like that which I had seen by the river Chebar.
I fell prone as the glory of the LORD entered the temple
by way of the gate which faces the east,
but spirit lifted me up and brought me to the inner court.
And I saw that the temple was filled with the glory of the LORD.
Then I heard someone speaking to me from the temple,
while the man stood beside me.
The voice said to me:
Son of man, this is where my throne shall be,
this is where I will set the soles of my feet;
here I will dwell among the children of Israel forever.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 85:9AB AND 10, 11-12, 13-14
R. (see 10b) The glory of the Lord will dwell in our land.
I will hear what God proclaims;
the LORD–for he proclaims peace.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,
glory dwelling in our land.
R. The glory of the Lord will dwell in our land.
Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.
R. The glory of the Lord will dwell in our land.
The LORD himself will give his benefits;
our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,
and salvation, along the way of his steps.
R. The glory of the Lord will dwell in our land.

Gospel: Matthew 23:1-12

Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,
“The scribes and the Pharisees
have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.
Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,
but do not follow their example.
For they preach but they do not practice.
They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry
and lay them on people’s shoulders,
but they will not lift a finger to move them.
All their works are performed to be seen.
They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.
They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,
greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’
As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’
You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.
Call no one on earth your father;
you have but one Father in heaven.
Do not be called ‘Master’;
you have but one master, the Christ.
The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

NAB

aug 20

It’s very easy to be disheartened by our world. If we aren’t hearing about a recent mass shooting, we’re learning of the unimaginable number of abortions taking place, or the over-sexualization of our young people. In an election year, the negativity grows, and sometimes it just seems like life would be so much better if He came back today.

And as many predictors as there claim to be, no one knows when that day will come. More importantly, our individual time may come long before this world ends. Instead of closing ourselves off from a world that seems to carry more evil than good (believe me, I often think that being a hermit might be the answer), the Psalmist today gives hope.

The glory of the Lord will dwell in our land.

But how?

In our actions. In the face of every evil that pervades our days, we can be Christ. It’s in the little things that often become the big things: a smile, a friendly hello, a hug, a prayer, and an empathetic ear when what we’d rather do is keep to ourselves.

When God dwells in our land, Kindness and truth shall meet; justice and peace shall kiss.

We can and should always share the truth . . . but with kindness. Justice can and should prevail . . . but with peace.

Our God is still here, even when the future appears so grim. But, He lives through us, and therefore it is you and I who must carry the light into a darkened world. Just one step at a time. Just one act of love in each moment. Just these little things . . . and before long His light will be a bit easier to find.

Let us be the ones who pave the way for Him to dwell in our land again. And, let’s begin now.

photo credit

Britt Fisk is the wife of Jeremy and mother of five young kids.  She spends her days living simply in the-middle-of-nowhere-New Mexico helping with the family beef cattle operation. You can find out more about her here.

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