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Tuesday, August 21, 2001

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Pope St. Pius X

Judges 6:11-24
Psalm 85
Matthew 19:23-30

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the champion of champions

"The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, 'The Lord is with you, O champion!' " —Judges 6:12

We call very successful athletes "champions." The Lord, however, calls people like Gideon "champions". Gideon was a nobody from a family of nobodies (Jgs 6:15). We call people "champions" after they win a championship. The Lord calls people "champions" after they are defeated and before they have victory. When champions are crowned in the world, they often attribute their success to their coaches, teammates, and hard work. The Lord's champions are champions primarily because He is with them (Jgs 6:12, 16). "This is just as you find it written, 'Let him who would boast, boast in the Lord' " (1 Cor 1:31).

You can try to be a champion of the world, or you can be a champion of the Lord. Keep in mind, however, that "the world with its seductions is passing away but the man who does God's will endures forever" (1 Jn 2:17). Be the Lord's champion, for "what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and suffers the loss of his immortal soul?" (Lk 9:25, our transl.) Victory in Christ is the only lasting victory. To serve Christ is to reign. "Have no love for the world, nor the things that the world affords" (1 Jn 2:15). Be a champion for Jesus.

Prayer:  Father, use me to defeat the world's heavyweight champions.

Promise:  "Jesus looked at them and said, 'For man it is impossible; but for God all things are possible.' " —Mt 19:26

Praise:  Pope St. Pius X "championed" the cause of the Eucharist by encouraging frequent communion and by admitting children into the eucharistic feast.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, February 13, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 20, 2001