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Sunday, February 6, 2011

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5th Sunday Ordinary Time

Isaiah 58:7-10
1 Corinthians 2:1-5
Psalm 112:4-9
Matthew 5:13-16

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good or god?

"Your light must shine before men so that they may see goodness in your acts and give praise to your heavenly Father." —Matthew 5:16

Our good deeds should be recognized as good and should inspire others to give praise to our heavenly Father, the Source of all goodness. This is not happening as often as it should. Many good deeds are done, but people don't think of God as responsible for them. Our secular society focuses on human beings rather than on God when it notices someone's good deeds. In fact, it's often considered inappropriate to mention God publicly or in the mass media.

To prevent others from using our good deeds to ignore God rather than praise Him, Jesus told us to put our light on the lampstand (Mt 5:15). The lampstand symbolizes the Church (see Rv 1:20). We must do good deeds because we are members of Christ's body, the Church. We are Jesus' hands and feet. We don't do what we want to or feel is necessary; we do what the Lord commands as He speaks through His Church. As members of Christ's Church, we are not merely do-gooders, but witnesses for Jesus and evangelizers. We do good deeds to practice what we're already preaching.

When we do good as members of the Church, in obedience to the Church, and in service to the evangelizing mission of the Church, people will not call us "humanitarians" but "Christians," and will give praise to our heavenly Father.

Prayer:  Father, may my good works draw attention to You and not to me.

Promise:  "Then light shall rise for you in the darkness, and the gloom shall become for you like midday." —Is 58:10

Praise:  Praise Jesus Who is the perfect Image of the Father (see Heb 1:3). Alleluia!

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July27, 2010

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