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Thursday, October 4, 2001

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St. Francis of Assisi

Nehemiah 8:1-4, 5-6, 7-12
Psalm 19
Luke 10:1-12

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tremble at his word

"Standing at one end of the open place that was before the Water Gate, he read out of the book from daybreak till midday." —Nehemiah 8:3

Because we love the Lord, we want Him to approve of us. The Lord makes clear: "This is the one whom I approve: the lowly and afflicted man who trembles at My word" (Is 66:2). To be approved by the Lord, we need to relate to His word rightly. For example, when Ezra opened the book of the law of Moses, "all the people rose" as a sign of respect (Neh 8:5). "Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and all the people, their hands raised high, answered, 'Amen, amen!' " (Neh 8:6) With raised hands, we praise the Lord for His word, and we say "Amen" to it even before we hear it. "Then they bowed down and prostrated themselves before the Lord, their faces to the ground" (Neh 8:6). We are to humbly submit ourselves to God's word in obedience. After Ezra read the Scriptures for about six hours (Neh 8:3), "all the people were weeping" in repentance (Neh 8:9). "Then all the people went to eat and drink, to distribute portions, and to celebrate with great joy, for they understood the words that had been expounded to them" (Neh 8:12).

To relate to God's word rightly, we must respect, praise, read, study, share, and obey it in humble submission. In receiving His word, we should let the Lord convict us of our sins and fill us with His joy at our repentance (see Lk 15:7,10).

Do you have the right attitude toward God's word? Are you approved by God?

Prayer:  Father, may I love and live Your word as did St. Francis of Assisi.

Promise:  Jesus "said to them: 'The harvest is rich but the workers are few; therefore ask the Harvest-Master to send workers to His harvest.' " —Lk 10:2

Praise:  Jesus spoke to St. Francis and told him to: "Rebuild My Church." Despite initially misunderstanding the Lord's intent, Francis spent the rest of his life fulfilling God's command.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert A. Stricker, May 8, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 18, 2001