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Wednesday, July 5, 2000

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St. Anthony Zaccaria

Amos 5:14-15, 21-24
Psalm 50
Matthew 8:28-34

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heavy meddle

"Why meddle with us, Son of God?" —Matthew 8:29

Jesus came "to light a fire on the earth" (Lk 12:49). He "came into this world to divide it, to make the sightless see and the seeing blind" (Jn 9:39). Jesus "deposed the mighty from their thrones and raised the lowly to high places" (Lk 1:52). Jesus is a "Sign of contradiction" (Lk 2:34, our transl).

When Jesus comes to town, that town will never be the same. Roads are opened (see Mt 8:28ff); demons are expelled (Mt 8:32); fortunes are lost (see Mt 8:32).

When Jesus goes to church, He may say such things as: "I hate, I spurn your feasts...Away with your noisy songs!" (Am 5:21, 23) He will even go so far as to cleanse the temple (see Jn 2:15ff).

Jesus destroys strongholds and demolishes sophistries (see 2 Cor 10:4). Look at the splintering of the former Soviet Union. Cuba, China, and the Muslim countries are next in line. Each one of us also is in line. This culture of death and our complicity with it are on the way out. In this year of the Great Jubilee, the Lord is going to shake us up. Are you going to beg Jesus to leave your neighborhood? (Mt 8:34) Or will you invite Him to be the Lord of your neighborhood and every aspect of your life? I dare you to invite Jesus in.

Prayer:  Jesus, here's a blank check.

Promise:  "The demons kept appealing to Him, 'If you expel us, send us into the heard of swine.' He answered, 'Out with you!' " —Mt 8:31-32

Praise:  St. Anthony taught: "We should love and feel compassion for those who oppose us...since they adorn us with crowns of everlasting glory."

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, December 16, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 18, 1999