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Monday, April 17, 2000

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Holy Week

Isaiah 42:1-7
Psalm 27
John 12:1-11

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the smell in the house

"The house was filled with the ointment's fragrance." —John 12:3

In our culture, it is "stuffy" in the house of God, the Church. The air is polluted by our sin and selfishness, especially as it is expressed in minimalism and mediocrity. It is harmful to breathe this air. Even Jesus is nauseous because of it (see Rv 3:16). When many people are trying to marginalize the Lord and His Church, when Christians are ashamed of the gospel (Rm 1:16), when we give begrudgingly, not cheerfully (cf 2 Cor 9:7) — the atmosphere in God's house is toxic and hazardous to our health.

We need people like Mary of Bethany, who will air out the house and then fill it with the fragrance of zealous, impassioned love for Jesus and His Church (see Jn 12:3ff). We need more martyrs, missionaries, large Catholic families, gutsy young people, and faithful old people. We need some serious fasting, all-night vigils, radical decisions, and joyous freedom.

Get rid of the putrid smell in the Church. Pour out the perfume of the Christian life. Love God, Who is Love (1 Jn 4:16), as the crucified Jesus loves us.

Prayer:  Father, employ me "to diffuse the fragrance" of Your "knowledge everywhere" (2 Cor 2:14).

Promise:  "I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness." —Is 42:6-7

Praise:  Barbara signed up for several hours of adoration during "Forty Hours."

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, October 4, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 12, 1999