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Malachi 3:1-4, 23-24
Psalms 25:4-5ab, 8-9, 10+14
Luke 1:57-66

The Fire and the Light

Malachi means “my messenger.”  Writing under cover of the generic, Malachi delivers the blunt message that renders prophets as suspect in their communities: now is the time to face our deeds and repent, to make right our relationship to God and return to our senses.  The one who comes next will bring fire.  The fire will consume our excuses and reduce mediocrity to ash.  Be ready for the fire next time.  

 Zechariah was a humble man.  A priest, he performed the rituals of the sanctuary for many years.  But his faithful spirit was stretched by what the angel revealed that day in the temple.  There must be some mistake.  Surely he and Elizabeth were too old to conceive.  Being resigned had grown familiar.  Living in expectation had faded with the years.  God gave the future father the discipline of silence from that day until the child was born.  Shut off from words, he could no longer conduct rituals.  In silence, Zechariah regained his senses.  Like a child, he learned again to listen and see.  There was so much he had missed about the world.  When his voice returned at the naming of John, Zechariah burst into praise.

Messengers still come.  We are a skeptical people, and God devises new ways to interrupt our doubts and wake us up.  Maybe it is the comedian who peels the blinders off our eyes.  Maybe it is the winter sun that reveals every twisting branch on the trees outside the window.  Maybe it is the crowds of people throughout the world who cry out for justice.  Maybe it is gathering at the altar to give thanks.  God calls us through fire and light.  Like Zechariah, we must quiet down so we can hear again.  A light has come that is not of our own making.  When this truth finally dawns on us, like Zechariah, we give praise.

By Jeanne Schuler

 

 

Pope Francis Twitter Feed

* Our Way of Life *

 

"Our diverse talents and abilities, our differences in culture, nationality and age are assets for the richness of the community. Although we may be engaged in a variety of ministries, we all share the common call to apostolic discipleship in a community of the Catholic Apostolate of St. Vincent Pallotti."(OWL, 91)

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"Christ, the Apostle of the Eternal Father, and his mission are central to our personal and community life, giving meaning and direction to our thinking, our spirituality, our prayer, action and suffering." (OWL, 19)

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"As a community of disciples we are gathered around Jesus, the Apostle of the Eternal Father. Like the first disciples, we want to be with Jesus, be sent out by him and return to him to evaluate our service in the light of his presence." (OWL, 88)

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"As Pallottines, it is our special charism to foster growth in faith and love among the laity, to awaken them to awareness of their apostolic call, and to cooperate with them in furthering the apostolic mission." (OWL, 21)

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"Our relationships with one another should be marked by a love that bears all, believes all and hopes for all, a love that is neither conceited nor jealous, which hurts no one, nor is embittered or resentful. It is never discouraged but remains patient and kind. It rejoices with others and shares their suffering. It is with this kind of love that we should help and support one another." (OWL, 90)