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Friday, August 25, 2000

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St. Louis
St. Joseph Calasanz

Ezekiel 37:1-14
Psalm 107:2-9
Matthew 22:34-40

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prophesying to the dead

"Can these bones come to life?" —Ezekiel 37:3

Pope John Paul II has identified our Western culture as a "culture of death." Consequently, Ezekiel's description of the plain of dry bones is especially significant to us. The Lord commanded Ezekiel to prophesy over the bones, and they came to life (Ez 37:4ff). We also must prophesy over the dry bones of our culture of death.

Although not everyone has the charism of prophecy (see 1 Cor 12:29), all those baptized into Christ are in Christ, the Priest, Prophet, and King. We exercise our participation in Christ's prophetic ministry by teaching "in order to lead others to faith" (Catechism, 904, quoted from St. Thomas Aquinas) and by evangelization, that is, through announcing Christ by word (Catechism, 905). We are living our Baptisms only if we teach and proclaim the gospel of Jesus and thereby share in His prophetic ministry.

By prophesying in and with Jesus, we will rattle the bones of this culture of death (Ez 37:7) and breathe into it the life of the Holy Spirit (see Ez 37:9). Baptized children of God, prophesy over the dry bones of this culture of death.

Prayer:  Father, in this year of the Great Jubilee, displace the culture of death with a civilization of life and love.

Promise:  " 'You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, with your whole soul, and with all your mind.' This is the greatest and first commandment. The second is like it; 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' " —Mt 22:37-39

Praise:  St. Joseph wrote: "Like the twigs of plants the young are easily influenced, as long as someone works to change their souls."

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, March 8, 2000

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 9, 2000