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Thursday, November 12, 1998

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St. Josaphat

Philemon 7-20
Psalm 146
Luke 17:20-25

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life only in christ

I "appeal to you for my child, whom I have begotten during my imprisonment." —Philemon 10

Onesimus, a slave, became a Christian in prison. This made him a son of God and a spiritual child of Paul, who led him to Christ (Phlm 10). In Greek, "Onesimus" means useful. Contrary to his name, Onesimus had been useless, but he became useful when he became a Christian (Phlm 11). Paul found Onesimus so useful that he considered him to be his very heart (Phlm 12). When Onesimus gave his life to Jesus, he became "more than a slave," he became "a beloved brother" of Jesus, of all Christians, and even of his slave-owner, Philemon (Phlm 16).

When someone becomes a Christian, he enters God's family, has a share in the divine nature of the Trinity (2 Pt 1:4), and becomes a member of the body of Christ. Only in Christ is there salvation (Acts 4:12), freedom (Jn 8:36), and eternal life (1 Jn 5:12). In Christ, we are more than conquerors (Rm 8:37). Consequently, a person's life is in some way wasted and useless until he becomes a Christian (1 Pt 4:2). However, in Christ "there is no condemnation" (Rm 8:1).

Therefore, in thanksgiving to the Lord, live for Him alone and tell others the good news of life in Jesus Christ.

Prayer:  Father, make me a witness for Jesus (see Acts 1:8).

Promise:  "The Son of Man in His day will be like the lightning that flashes from one end of the sky to the other." —Lk 17:24

Praise:  St. Josaphat was renowned at leading people to Jesus and His Church. His enemies called him "the thief of souls."

Rescript:  ..

The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, April 4, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 8, 1998