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Wednesday, February 23, 2000

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St. Polycarp

James 4:13-17
Psalm 49
Mark 9:38-40

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sins of omission

"When a man knows the right thing to do and does not do it, he sins." —James 4:17

Sins are not just what we commit but also what we omit. We will be judged not only for what we say (Mt 12:36) but also for what we don't say (see Ez 3:18; 33:6). We will be judged not only for lending our presence to things that do not glorify God (see 1 Cor 10:31) but also for our absences from the assembly of God's people (Heb 10:25) and from other works of the Lord.

Before we were created, the Lord prepared a life of good deeds for each of us to do (Eph 2:10). He holds us accountable to do all of these deeds. For example, Jesus warned the church of Sardis: "Wake up, and strengthen what remains before it dies. I find that the sum of your deeds is less than complete" (Rv 3:2).

If you are sinning by omission, repent and cry out for the Lord's mercy. "He is an Offering for our sins" (1 Jn 2:2). The Lord will forgive. By His grace, we will do the impossible. We will do all that He asks of us. Live your life for Jesus to the full (see Jn 10:10).

Prayer:  Father, I put my life in Your hands.

Promise:  "Yet in no way can a man redeem himself, or pay his own ransom to God; too high is the price to redeem one's life; he would never have enough to remain alive always and not see destruction." —Ps 49:8-10

Praise:  St. Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, was martyred for his faith in Jesus in a stadium in Smyrna in the year 155. Some decades earlier, Jesus encouraged the members of the church of Smyrna in a prophecy which Polycarp would have known: "Have no fear of the sufferings to come...Remain faithful until death and I will give you the crown of life" (Rv 2:10).

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