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Wednesday, November 6, 1996

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Philippians 2:12-18
Psalm 27
Luke 14:25-33

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the maximum is the minimum

"He will do that for fear of laying the foundation and then not being able to complete the work." —Luke 14:29

We like to do things as easily as possible, to get the most for the least. For instance, some Catholics ask if they have to go to Confession annually or if a Mass on Saturday afternoon counts for Sunday. They don't want to endure any more sacraments than necessary.

Jesus taught that the Christian life resembles building a tower or fighting a war (Lk 14:28-31). To have what it takes to do the job, we must put Jesus ahead of everyone else, including ourselves (Lk 14:26). We also need to take up the cross of suffering and self-denial every day (Lk 14:27; 9:23). Moreover, we must renounce all our possessions (Lk 14:33). We acknowledge that the Lord owns everything; we are only His stewards (see Mt 25:14ff). This total surrender of everything to the Lord is the minimum necessary to build the tower and win the war of the Christian life.

The cheapest price for God's kingdom is all that we have (Mt 13:44, 46). Giving God anything less than everything is not even minimally sufficient to enter God's kingdom. For love of God, give God everything. That's the least we must do.

Prayer:  Father, for love of You may I always want to give You more.

Promise:  "Even if my life is to be poured out as a libation over the sacrificial service of your faith, I am glad of it and rejoice with all of you." —Phil 2:17

Praise:  Norma and Jim allowed Jesus to have full control over the size of their family. They have nine pre-teenagers, and they witness to Jesus' love by radiating gratitude and raising their children in the faith.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, April 2, 1996

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 3, 1996