Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. (Psalm 119)
Little children often go through a phase of doffing every piece of clothing to run around in the nude, enjoying the sheer freedom of being unencumbered by anything – but they are in no way ready to play outside, go to the store with Mom or even meet up with their friends. We learn very quickly as children how protective it is to have pants coving knees when we fall, a shirt on to shield us from sun and scratches and pockets to improve productivity. Jesus counsels his disciples to remain dressed for action with our lamps lit as we go about living in this world. St. Paul opened up this metaphor in his letter to the Ephesians : Take then the helmet (think hockey) of salvation, the chest guard of righteousness, the ‘suspenders’ of truth, the shoes (skates ?) of peace, the shield of faith and the sword (the hockey stick?) of the Spirit which is the Word of God. Add to this attire the mantle of mercy and the shine, that is the light, of humble holiness , and you are ready for any kind of spiritual action. As St. Paul reminds us in Ephesians 6, Jesus has not called us to merely play and run free like little children in this game of life. We are called not merely play a game from time to time, but to struggle against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Will I doff my spiritual clothing to engage in childish things or dress myself in the clothing of Christ Jesus, that is the equipment I need to live a fruitful and a holy life? Holy Spirit, help me be dressed for action and have my lamp lit.
He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to your God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord. (Psalm 40:3)
Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing you have received – only what you have given: a full heart, enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage.
Saint Francis of Assisi
Soli ad gloriam
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Beverly Illauq lives in Kemptville, Ontario, where she greets each morning by seeking the Gospel Mystery of the Day - the Word of the Lord for direct and practical application to the specific challenges & joys of the day.