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Monday, July 5, 1999

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St. Anthony Zaccaria

Genesis 28:10-22
Psalm 91
Matthew 9:18-26

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the landscape of holiness

"Jacob took the stone that he had put under his head, set it up as a memorial stone, and poured oil on top of it. He called that site Bethel." —Genesis 28:18-19

Jacob came upon a pagan shrine. There he fell asleep and had a dream in which he met God and received special revelation. "He called that site Bethel," that is, "the house of God" (Gn 28:19).

The Lord wants each of us to have several Bethels in our lives. For example, the Lord probably wants several people to decide to give their lives to Him while they are sitting at our kitchen tables or in our living rooms. Then we will have even more reason to name our homes Bethel, "the house of God." The Lord wants to forgive, free, heal, and save people at our places of employment. Then that hospital, factory, office, school, studio, or field will rightly be called Bethel, "the house of God." The landscape of our lives should be dotted with Bethels.

The Lord is present everywhere, but there are holy places where His presence is more profound. He is most deeply present as the Eucharist. The Lord wants us to be walking tabernacles and fill this world with holy places where His eucharistic love has transformed lives and given salvation. With Jesus, make Bethels.

Prayer:  Father, make me holy and make places holy.

Promise:  "Jesus turned around and saw her and said, 'Courage, daughter! Your faith has restored you to health.' That very moment the woman got well." —Mt 9:22

Praise:  St. Anthony advised his fellow Barnabites to "love and feel compassion for those who oppose us, rather than abhor and despise them...since they do us good."

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Be Holy, For I Am Holy.)

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