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Thursday, December 2, 1999

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Isaiah 26:1-6
Psalm 118
Matthew 7:21, 24-27

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obey or fall

"When the rainy season set in, the torrents came and the winds blew and buffeted his house. It did not collapse; it had been solidly set on rock." —Matthew 7:25

Will your life stand when the rain, floods, and winds hit? Will you be faithful to the Lord even if you have to suffer terrible persecution? Will you love the Lord till your dying day, or will you be another Judas? If you are alive during the mass apostasy (see 2 Thes 2:3), will you be in the remnant that keeps the faith?

Our lives are on the rock foundation if we are hearing God's word and putting it into practice (Mt 7:24). This applies to all of God's word in the teachings of the Church and her Bible, but it especially applies to the Sermon on the Mount, of which today's Gospel reading is the conclusion. In other words, we must be living the Beatitudes and meeting Jesus' stricter standards regarding relationships, sexual purity, marriage, our speech, and loving our enemies (Mt 5:20-48). If we do not, we will not persevere in our relationship with Jesus but fold under pressure.

We must be a "Church of the Beatitudes" (Mission of the Redeemer, Pope John Paul II, 60) and of the Sermon on the Mount. Otherwise, our future is not secure, victorious, and blessed but rather shaky, fearful, and tragic. As we are about to begin the Great Jubilee, obey Jesus' Sermon on the Mount.

Prayer:  Father, I can't obey You by my power. I accept Your grace.

Promise:  "Trust in the Lord forever! For the Lord is an eternal Rock. He humbles those in high places, and the lofty city He brings down." —Is 26:4-5

Praise:  Annie, in preparing her heart to receive Jesus in a new way on Christmas, asked Him to bless her with the gift of praying in tongues by the end of Advent. On Christmas Eve, she praised her Lord for the first time using the gift of tongues.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 21, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 1999