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Saturday, September 27, 2003

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St. Vincent de Paul

Zechariah 2:5-9, 14-15
Jeremiah 31:10-13
Luke 9:43-45

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cross purposes

"The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of men." —Luke 9:44

Jesus said to His disciples: "Pay close attention to what I tell you" (Lk 9:44). Then He told them about the sufferings He would endure (Lk 9:44). The disciples did not grasp the meaning of Jesus' words at all (Lk 9:45). In fact, they did not even want to understand the Lord. "They were afraid to question Him about the matter" (Lk 9:45). This unwillingness to hear the message of the cross continues to the present day.

The message of the cross is the power of God (1 Cor 1:18). We are reconciled with God and each other by the blood of the cross (Col 1:20). Sometimes we must speak of nothing but Christ crucified (1 Cor 2:2). Until we receive the message of the cross, we are in no position to properly understand Jesus as the Messiah (see Mk 8:29-31).

Because the message of the cross is the center of God's revelation, Satan will try to prevent us from ever hearing the truth about the cross. He will try to use "wordy" wisdom to make the cross of Christ void of meaning (1 Cor 1:17). However, by God's grace, we can receive the message of the cross. It can become the heart of our lives. We will then take up our crosses daily (Lk 9:23) and boast of nothing but the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ (Gal 6:14). "Lift high the cross!"

Prayer:  Father, when I make the sign of the cross, may it not only be habit but the meaning of my existence.

Promise:  "I will be for her an encircling wall of fire, says the Lord, and I will be the glory in her midst." —Zec 2:9

Praise:  St. Vincent embraced the "poorest of the poor" of his time, which included prisoners and convicts.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Jesus the Redeemer on audio AV 50-3 or video V-50.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard L. Klug, February 27, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 3, 2003