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Friday, November 5, 2004

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Philippians 3:17—4:1
Psalm 122
Luke 16:1-8

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with friends like this, jesus doesn't need enemies

"Unfortunately, many go about in a way which shows them to be enemies of the cross of Christ." —Philippians 3:18

Our lifestyle shows the world whether we are friends or enemies of the crucified Jesus (Phil 3:18). We, His disciples, testify to our belief in His crucified love by the way we go about denying ourselves and carrying our own crosses (see Lk 9:23).

Your own life screams to the world that you are a friend or an enemy of the cross of Jesus. What is your life saying? What crosses would you run away from if Jesus offered them to you? (see Mk 14:50-51) Would you flee from the crosses of:

  • having more children in obedience to God's will,
  • speaking up in public for Jesus at the risk of ridicule,
  • tithing ten percent of your income and giving alms,
  • fasting another day a week to win spiritual victories,
  • turning off or throwing out your TV,
  • making a public stand for life,
  • working for justice for the poor and oppressed,
  • speaking out publicly for holiness and chastity, or
  • being a caregiver for a dying or retarded person?

Jesus offers these and other crosses to us every day. When we decide to be a friend of His cross and pick it up each day, we paradoxically find our life (Lk 9:24) instead of losing it. "Enemies of the cross of Christ...will end in disaster!" (Phil 3:18, 19) Repent of refusing any cross. Die to the "things of this world" (Phil 3:19). Lift high your cross.

Prayer:  Jesus, may I be crucified to the world (Gal 6:14). May I never leave the foot of Your cross — not even for a moment of relief. I find all my comfort in being by Your side (cf Ps 94:19).

Promise:  "We have our citizenship in heaven." —Phil 3:20

Praise:  In obedience to and by the grace of God, Maria fasts three times a week in order to bring down the strongholds of the enemy and build up the Kingdom of God (see Mt 17:21, NAB).

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, March 30, 2004

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 1, 2004