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Tuesday, February 23, 1999

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St. Polycarp

Isaiah 55:10-11
Psalm 34
Matthew 6:7-15

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the word in lent

"...so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but shall do My will, achieving the end for which I sent it." —Isaiah 55:11

In Lent, we imitate Jesus when He fasted for forty days in the desert (Mt 4:2). In Lent, we also imitate Jesus when He overcame  the evil one by using the Scriptures (Mt 4:4, 7, 10). To use the Scriptures to fight against temptations, we must know and live the Scriptures. Thus, Lent is the time of making sure that our lives are founded on obeying the Lord's scriptural revelations (see Mt 7:24) and that the Scriptures are fully integrated into our lives.

Answer the following questions:

  • Can you quote a Scripture passage for each temptation you have? For example, what are Scriptures concerning anger, unforgiveness, and lust?
  • Do you make it a priority to set aside time daily to read and pray the Bible and the Mass readings for each day?
  • What new things has the Lord revealed to you in the Scriptures recently? What parts of the Bible don't you understand well? What do you plan to do about this?
  • What parts in the Bible are you obeying, although you don't understand them or don't feel like obeying them?
  • Do you share God's word daily with the members of your family? How often do you share the word of God on the phone or at your workplace?

This Lent, turn to the Lord and make sure that you are living in His word.

Prayer:  Father, may I take the Scriptures "not as the word of men, but as it truly is," Your word at work within us who believe (1 Thes 2:13).

Promise:  "Give us today our daily bread, and forgive us the wrong we have done as we forgive those who wrong us." —Mt 6:11-12

Praise:  St. Polycarp said of his approaching martyrdom, "The One Who gives me strength to endure the fire will also give me strength to stay quite still on the pyre."

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 23, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 27, 1998