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Tuesday, February 1, 2000

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2 Samuel 18:9-10, 14, 24-25, 30—19:3
Psalm 86
Mark 5:21-43

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the culture of death

"If only I had died instead of you, Absalom my son, my son!" —2 Samuel 19:1

Nathan, the prophet, had revealed to David that David's sin of adultery would result in many deaths (see 2 Sm 12:10). The child conceived through David's adultery died (2 Sm 12:18). Amnon followed in the footsteps of David, his father, by committing the sexual sin of raping his sister Tamar (2 Sm 13:14). Absalom, Tamar's brother, took vengeance on Amnon and murdered him (2 Sm 13:28-29). Years later, Absalom started a civil war against his father. In the final battle of the war, "the casualties there that day were heavy — twenty thousand men" (2 Sm 18:7), including Absalom. When David heard of Absalom's death, he "was shaken, and went up to the room over the city gate to weep. He said as he wept, 'My son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you, Absalom, my son, my son!' " (2 Sm 19:1)

"The wages of sin is death" (Rm 6:23): more sin, more deaths, still more sin, and thousands of deaths for generations. Resist temptations. Don't sin.

Prayer:  Father, raise us from the death of sin.

Promise:  "Daughter, it is your faith that has cured you. Go in peace and be free of this illness." —Mk 5:34

Praise:  Jesus healed Gloria of cancer.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, July 28, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 3, 1999