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Wednesday, June 25, 1997

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Genesis 15:1-12; 17-18
Psalm 105
Matthew 7:15-20

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fear, god's promises, and our baptismal covenant

"This word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: 'Fear not, Abram!' " —Genesis 15:1

When the Lord promises something very great, He often announces His promise by commanding us not to fear (see Lk 1:13, 30; Mt 1:20). The implication is that when we give in to fear, we may sabotage God's work in our lives.

A covenant is one of the antidotes to fear, and it is also an assurance of the fulfillment of God's promises. After God commanded Abram not to fear and promised him a very great reward (Gn 15:1), "the Lord made a covenant with Abram" (Gn 15:18). Likewise, the Lord has made with us the ultimate covenant in His blood (Mt 26:28) when He died on the cross for us. We have entered this covenant by being baptized into His death (Rm 6:3). By living our baptismal covenant, we overcome fear and are assured of the fulfillment of God's promises.

Renew your baptismal promises; do not fear. Bless yourself with holy water. What God has promised you in Baptism will be fulfilled. Celebrate the anniversary of your Baptism; do not fear. Live practically your Baptism by being in a small Christian community. "So now acknowledge with your whole heart and soul that not one of all the promises the Lord, your God, made to you has remained unfulfilled. Every promise has been fulfilled for you, with not one single exception" (Jos 23:14). Do not fear. "Whatever promises God has made have been fulfilled in Him (Jesus)" (2 Cor 1:20). You are baptized into Him. Alleluia!

Prayer:  Father, send the Holy Spirit to teach me to think of my Baptism daily and to praise You.

Promise:  "You can tell a tree by its fruit." —Mt 7:20

Praise:  Valerie prayed for years for her family members to receive the Holy Spirit. God answered her prayers by allowing her to see her brother and sister receive the gift of tongues on the same night at a Life in the Spirit retreat.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, November 12, 1996

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 10, 1996