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Wednesday, June 23, 1999

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Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18
Psalm 105:1-4, 6-9
Matthew 7:15-20

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fighting vultures in the dark

"He remembers forever His covenant." —Psalm 105:8

The experience of making a covenant is holy, mysterious, and terrifying. When "the Lord made a covenant with Abram" (Gn 15:18), He told Abram to slaughter three large animals and two birds (Gn 15:9). Then Abram had to fight off birds of prey as they swooped down on the carcasses (Gn 15:11). Imagine yourself surrounded by the blood, guts, and smells of several freshly slaughtered animals. Picture yourself ducking and slapping vultures as they "dive-bomb" you. Abram did this as "a deep, terrifying darkness enveloped him" (Gn 15:12). What if you couldn't see the vultures diving or the carcasses you were protecting. You could only hear the whoosh of the air as vultures hit you with their bodies and wings, cut you with their talons and beaks, and pulled your hair. This scene shows that all hell breaks loose when we accept God's covenant.

Jesus established the new and perfect covenant by dying on the cross. Animals were not slaughtered; instead, He was. As the sun eclipsed and the deepest spiritual darkness enveloped Jesus (Mt 27:45), He was exposed to the greatest onslaught of demons ever released. Yet He died in perfect love, saved us, and gave us the new covenant.

Prayer:  Father, I will live my baptismal covenant faithfully, thankfully, and joyfully.

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

Praise:  Jesus healed Rhonda, a young girl with a bleeding ulcer, through the reception of the Eucharist, and through the prayers of those who brought Holy Communion to her home.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 28, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 1, 1998