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Tuesday, November 14, 2000

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Titus 2:1-8, 11-14
Psalm 37:3-4, 18, 23, 27, 29
Luke 17:7-10

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the beauty of order

"Reject godless ways and worldly desires, and live temperately, justly, and devoutly." —Titus 2:12

In the first two verses of the Bible, God is described as creating the beauty and harmony of the heavens and earth by bringing order into "a formless wasteland" and "the abyss" (Gn 1:2). Order is what makes things beautiful. Order is an expression of love, while disorder is destructive, even abusive. Thus, we can see how blessed we are because Jesus has left us peace, that is, shalom-order, in His last will and testament (Jn 14:27).

Our churches are meant to be beautiful and harmonious creations of God's love. This does not refer primarily to the church building but to the people of the church and their relationships. The pastor needs to have good relationships with the old and young men of the parish so he can tell them how to live in godly order (Ti 2:2, 6). Husbands should love their wives as Christ loved the Church (Eph 5:25). Older women should by their example teach younger women how to love (Ti 2:3-4). When our relationships are in godly order, the Church is beautiful. Then, even in the chaos which re-entered the world through sin, the earth is re-created by the Holy Spirit (see Ps 104:30), Who is not a God of confusion but of shalom-order (see 1 Cor 14:33).

Prayer:  Father, order my life to make it beautiful for You.

Promise:  "Trust in the Lord and do good, that you may dwell in the land and enjoy security. Take delight in the Lord, and He will grant you your heart's requests." —Ps 37:3-4

Praise:  When Beth decided to give God the first hour of the day in prayer, the rest of her day fell into godly order.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, April 24, 2000

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 27, 2000