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Thursday, January 16, 2003

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Hebrews 3:7-14
Psalm 95
Mark 1:40-45

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casual disobedience

"Oh, that today you would hear His voice: 'Harden not your hearts.' " —Psalm 95:7-8

Jesus miraculously and instantaneously healed a leper and then gave him a stern warning not to tell anyone (Mk 1:43-44). The man promptly and completely disobeyed Jesus "and began to publicize the whole matter" (Mk 1:45). This casual attitude toward disobedience has been the curse of the human race from Adam and Eve to the last person going to hell.

All of us recognize this casual attitude toward disobedience in other people. We chide or condemn those who disobey in areas where we may be obeying. But we probably harbor a casual attitude toward disobedience in our own ways. For example, do we obey the Lord by taking up our daily cross (Lk 9:23), tithing, submitting to authority, sacrificing, telling the truth, avoiding occasions of sin, or evangelizing? These commandments are not options, but they are widely ignored. The fact that the majority of Catholics in the Western world miss Mass on Sundays is symptomatic of a culture of rebellion. The fact that so many contracept shows that we don't just have a problem but a whole culture of death. When our obedience is complete, we have the authority to bring down Satan's strongholds and make every thought captive to Christ (2 Cor 10:4-6). Otherwise, we are trapped in disobedience. For God's sake, for your sake, obey!

Prayer:  Father, teach me obedience, even through suffering if necessary (see Heb 5:8).

Promise:  "Encourage yourselves daily while it is still 'today,' so that none of you may grow hardened by the deceit of sin." —Heb 3:13

Praise:  Barbara has grown from a Sunday-maybe Catholic, to a Sunday-only Catholic, to a daily communicant.

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Obedience School, or our tape on Obeying God on audio AV 62-3 or video V-62.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend David L. Zink, June 12, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 13, 2002