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Friday, August 2, 2002

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St. Eusebius of Vercelli

Jeremiah 26:1-9
Psalm 69:5, 8-10, 14
Matthew 13:54-58

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the only hope for the hardhearted

"If you disobey Me, not living according to the law I placed before you and not listening to the words of My servants the prophets, whom I send you constantly though you do not obey them..." —Jeremiah 26:4-5

At daily Mass, we have been reading from the prophet Jeremiah for about ten days. We will continue to read from Jeremiah for another week. Day after day, we read that God's word spoken through Jeremiah and almost all other prophets was not accepted. The hardness of the human heart is so great that even Jesus, the greatest Prophet, was not accepted in His native place (Mt 13:57). Even after His death on the cross and glorious resurrection, Jesus is not accepted. How hard can our hearts be!

In four days, we will celebrate Jesus' Transfiguration, when God the Father from the overshadowing cloud of the Holy Spirit announced: "This is My beloved Son on Whom My favor rests. Listen to Him" (Mt 17:5). Initially, even the message of Jesus' Transfiguration did not soften hardened hearts. Finally, at the first Christian Pentecost, the Holy Spirit did the amazing miracle of opening hardened hearts to Jesus. Jesus' disciples listened to Him, and the Church was born.

God our Father, send the Holy Spirit to do the miracle of Pentecost so that we will listen to Jesus.

Prayer:  Father, break open my hardened heart.

Promise:  "In Your great kindness answer me with Your constant help." —Ps 69:14

Praise:  Even in the sufferings of being exiled for his faith, St. Eusebius rejoiced in the Lord and encouraged his fellow believers, writing: "Dearly beloved, I rejoice in your faith, in the salvation that comes from faith, in your good works."

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Do I Have and Do I Want the Gift of Prophecy? on audio AV 14B-1 or video V 14B.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 7, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 12, 2002