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Monday, March 25, 2002

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Holy Week

Isaiah 42:1-7
Psalm 27
John 12:1-11

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"The fact was, the chief priests planned to kill Lazarus too, because many Jews were going over to Jesus and believing in Him on account of Lazarus." —John 12:10-11

What if you had seen Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead four days after Lazarus' death! (see Jn 11:39) Would you go over to Jesus and believe in Him on account of Lazarus? (Jn 12:11) Many people did that. Amazingly, others plotted against Jesus (Jn 11:53), sold Him, denied Him, and crucified Him.

This shows us the hardness of the human heart, that is, of our hearts. But for the crucifixion and death of Jesus our hearts would be hardened forever in the hell of everlasting alienation from God. However, the Lord has saved us from ourselves. By being baptized into His death, we can receive a new nature and love Jesus with all our hearts.

Let us prepare to renew our baptismal promises at Easter Vigil so that our hearts will be open and on fire with love for Jesus. May we be like Mary of Bethany, Mary Magdalene, and Mary, the mother of God. May we totally pour out our lives at the feet of Jesus (see Jn 12:3ff). May the whole Church be filled with the perfume of our total surrender (see Jn 12:3) to Him rather than polluted with the stench of sinful, hardened hearts. "Open wide your hearts" (2 Cor 6:13) to the risen Christ!

Prayer:  Father, thank You for taking away my stony heart and giving me a new heart (Ez 36:26). By Your grace, I will live fully the radical newness of my Baptism (see Lay Members of Christ's Faithful People, Pope John Paul II, 10).

Promise:  "I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness." —Is 42:6-7

Praise:  After weeks of avoiding a certain parishioner, Louise accepted God's grace to reach out to her at the sign of peace.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, August 18, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 25, 2001