Jesus is the Light of the world!

Jesus said that He is the Light of the world.  In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said that we are also called to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth. Broken light bulbs and savorless salt serve only to be cast into the trash.  Our light must be taken from the source of all light—JESUS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD!

Now more than ever we need men to be the light shining in the midst of a dense dark cloud that is hovering over humanity.  Among the many crises in the modern world is that of the man.  

Pope John Paul II in his first encyclical “Redentor hominis”—Christ who is the Redeemer of man, points out the fact that Jesus is the one who reveals us to ourselves. It is Jesus who gives us our identity. This applies of course to the man!  By His life, words, actions, sufferings, silences, and even death on the cross, Jesus highlights the path that a true man must follow to really be a man.

In a world where homosexuality, bisexuality, adultery, the addiction to pornography are trends that are blinding too many men and enslaving them, Jesus and St. Joseph pave the way to the truth.

How then can men live out their vocation to be a burning and blazing torch in the midst of a dense cloud of moral and sexual confusion? Let’s mark out the path!

Jesus working with St. Joseph--Father and Son!
1.    GRACE.  The man of God who focuses on Jesus and St. Joseph as models must strive to live in the state of sanctifying grace.  What does this mean? In concrete, they must avoid committing mortal sin at all costs.  If man has fallen from grace then recover grace through sacramental confession before the sun goes down. The loss of grace extinguishes the light of grace and darkness reigns in one’s heart, mind and soul.

2.    WORK TO CULTIVATE THE “THREE T’S”.  God has given man the three “T’s: time, treasure and talents.   The true man of God should not be in the habit of wasting time. Time is of the essence. Life is fleeting, transitory and ephemeral. Once the day ends it never returns again. All of us will have to render an account as to how we have utilized the time that God has given us.  St. Alphonsus Liguori made a vow to never waste time.  TALENTS.  Men are given talents to be recognized with humility, used with total dedication, and shared with utmost generosity.  Work tools that are not used become rusty and useless.  The short one-liner expresses this truth: “”If you do not use it you lose it!”  Another motto expresses it as such: “Better to wear out than to rust out!”  TREASURES.  One’s treasures are not meant to be horded, saved and kept to oneself but to be given generously. St. Paul teaches us:  “What you have received freely give freely.” Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta challenges us: “Give until it hurts!”

God must be the center of every family!
3.     FAMILY: THE DOMESTIC CHURCH.  Men who have chosen marriage as their vocation must be keenly aware of the fact that their first and primary obligation is to their family.  God should always be first. As Venerable Fulton J. Sheen taught with such clarity and precision: It takes three to get married!   The husband, the wife and JESUS—He is the hidden but the most important component of the family.   But true men who have chosen the marriage vocation, after their love for God should have their wife as primary and then their children.  In concrete, this means that true men must earn the bread they make by the sweat of their brows. (Gen 3). They are called to both provide and to protect their family. Furthermore, men are called to work even harder at home after work to form a loving, peaceful, united and harmonious family.  Many men have the false notion and have convinced themselves that once they have finished their labor outside the home their work is literally finished. On the contrary, the most important work at home is just beginning. Love and attention to the wife, careful concern expressed toward the children are part of parcel of really living out the vocation of manhood in the context of the married life. Let us take good St. Joseph as our model!
Modern additions-- the internet and computer!
4.    COMMUNICATION.  One of the greatest challenges in the modern scene is that of maintaining open lines of COMMUNICATION with the family as a whole.  T.V., Internet, I-phone, blackberry, the Tablet, cell-phone, text- messages, radio, and much more—all of these modern means of technology and communication can be of incalculable value. However, one can be addicted to anything.  It is all too easy today to become a slave and form an addiction to any of the above. Sadly this results in closing in on oneself and blocking the social world and one’s family out. True men of God pursue and seek ways to open lines of communication with their wives and children.  A well-known priest has suggested that the family should occasionally rent a cabin in the wilderness for a weekend to be together. However, with this one stipulation--- nobody is to bring any electronic means of distractions!  That is to say, the family will be alone together for the weekend to talk, communicate, share, laugh together and simply to enjoy the harmony, camaraderie and friendship of a loving family!  Not a bad idea! Find the cabin, place, and weekend!
Do not disturb me!!!

5.    SACRIFICE: CARRY THE CROSS!  In a society that tends to pamper, cuddle, promote soft living, even men can become emasculated and effeminate! When confronted with problems many men run away from the cross and seek pleasure or what might be termed “Creature comforts”.  Indeed many of these are actually sinful! Putting it bluntly, many men run from embracing the cross and seek refuge in sinful pleasures. What are these false gods? Almost too many to put on the list, but here are a mere few: drinking to excess (It’s Miller time!!!!”,) pornography and acting out, use of many forms of drugs, Night clubs and provocative women, casinos and the night life!  What true and virile men—in imitation of St. Joseph and Jesus—should do is to recognize the cross, embrace the cross and beg for God’s cross to carry it courageously.  This cross can appear in many forms and shapes.  The wife diagnosed with breast cancer, a teenage son in drugs and gang activity, the economic situation critical.  The true man, instead of having recourse to the above-mentioned vices, should turn humbly to God and trust in God as Rock and security.

Let us pray to Jesus, the perfect man, and have recourse to St. Joseph, the model as man, father, and husband that the men of today would strive to walk in their footsteps and truly shine as lights to dispel the darkness!