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Saturday, July 15, 2006

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St. Bonaventure

Isaiah 6:1-8
Psalm 93
Matthew 10:24-33

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"Then one of the seraphim flew to me, holding an ember which he had taken with tongs from the altar." —Isaiah 6:6

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Ps 111:10). It is also the beginning of evangelization. When we have had Isaiah's experience of God's holiness, when our lips have been purified by a burning ember, then no human fears can stop us from proclaiming from the housetops that JESUS IS LORD! (Mt 10:27) When awed by the fear of the Lord, we will acknowledge Jesus before men (Mt 10:32). When we have been grasped by Christ (Phil 3:12), we will go out into the highways and byways and compel them to come into the heavenly banquet (Lk 14:23).

Just as we must turn on the ignition before we can drive a car, so we must be fired up by the Holy Spirit before we can go anywhere for Jesus. Many evangelization programs are trying to teach people to drive when there's no gas in the tank and no fire in the engine. Evangelization is not so much something you learn as something you burn to do.

Jesus said: "I have come to light a fire on the earth. How I wish the blaze were ignited!" (Lk 12:49) Most people don't evangelize others because they aren't evangelized themselves. They don't light the fire because they don't have the fire. Turn it all over to Jesus; be fired with the Holy Spirit.

Prayer:  Holy Spirit, stir into flame Your fire in my life.

Promise:  " 'Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?' 'Here I am,' I said; 'send me!' " —Is 6:8

Praise:  St. Bonaventure was so filled with the Holy Spirit that upon his death it was remarked "that all who saw him were filled with an immense love for him."

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Fear of the Lord and Evangelization on audio AV 59-1 or video V-59.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 12, 2005

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