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Wednesday, July 9, 2003

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Genesis 41:55-57; 42:5-7, 17-24
Psalm 33
Matthew 10:1-7

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the third famine

"In fact, all the world came to Joseph to obtain rations of grain, for famine had gripped the whole world." —Genesis 41:57

In Joseph's time, there was a worldwide physical famine. Amos prophesied a spiritual famine: "Yes, days are coming, says the Lord God, when I will send famine upon the land: not a famine of bread, or thirst for water, but for hearing the word of the Lord" (Am 8:11). Today we have worse famines. While hundreds of millions starve to death physically, Chinese Communists and Muslim-dominated countries deny well over two billion people free access to the spiritual food of Christian community, the Bible, and the sacraments. Even worse than this, hundreds of millions of Christians have a third famine and are spiritually anorexic. They have imposed spiritual starvation on themselves. This makes large sectors of the Church so weak that it becomes a doormat for the devil and lets him "get away with murder" as he destroys people through the other kinds of starvation.

We need new Josephs to forgive, lead, and administrate so as to renew the Church, which has the "authority to expel unclean spirits and to cure sickness and disease of every kind" (Mt 10:1). The Lord through His Church will free those who have lost their spiritual appetite. The Church will call us to repentance and heal us of our sin-sickness, which has ruined our spiritual appetite. Then the Church will be nourished and strong enough to feed both the physically and spiritually hungry. The Church will proclaim the kingdom of God and displace the culture of death (see Mt 10:7).

Prayer:  Father, help me to better recognize the effects of sin, especially spiritual anorexia.

Promise:  "Go instead after the lost sheep." —Mt 10:6

Praise:  Jane works hard to bring the message of the gospel to her fellow parishioners by providing opportunities to serve the poorest of the poor.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, December 29, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 31, 2002