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Monday, July 9, 2001

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Genesis 28:10-22
Psalm 91
Matthew 9:18-26

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the first step of the stairway to heaven

"A stairway rested on the ground, with its top reaching to the heavens." —Genesis 28:12

In B.C., "before Christ," before conversion, we make conditional commitments to God. Like Jacob, we say: "If God remains with me, to protect me on this journey I am making and to give me enough bread to eat and clothing to wear, and I come back safe to my father's house, the Lord shall be my God" (Gn 28:20-21).

In A.D., after we have accepted Jesus as our Lord, we have made an unconditional commitment to the Lord. We belong to the Lord for better or for worse, in sickness or in health, in good times or bad times, forever and ever. Even if we suffer as Job suffered, we belong to the Lord (see Jb 1:14ff).

When we surrender our lives to the Lord unconditionally, the Lord will not do bad things to us. But He will allow bad things to happen to us so as to accomplish a greater good. Sometimes, the good the Lord does for us is so great that we will not appreciate it for some time. Nonetheless, the fact is that the Lord is doing such a great good in our lives that He is taking us into the mystery of the cross.

Our unconditional love for the Lord is the first step by which we enter into the new, crucified, ultimate dimension of the mystery of God's love. Take the first step on the stairway to heaven.

Prayer:  Father, may I want "to grasp fully, with all the holy ones, the breadth and length and height and depth of Christ's love" (Eph 3:18).

Promise:  "Jesus turned around and saw her and said, 'Courage, daughter! Your faith has restored you to health.' That very moment the woman got well." —Mt 9:22

Praise:  Tim twisted his ankle falling from a ladder. His wife and children prayed and it healed overnight.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, January 4, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 24, 2001