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Friday, March 12, 2004

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Genesis 37:3-4, 12-13, 17-28
Psalm 105:16-21
Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46

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hoping when life is the worst

"The Stone Which the builders rejected has become the Keystone of the structure. It was the Lord Who did this and we find it marvelous to behold." —Matthew 21:42; Psalm 118:22-23

If we repent in our sinfulness, slavery, and misery, the Lord will take the worst in our lives and make it the best. The Lord manifests His almighty power not just by doing great works but by making the greatest miracles out of the worst sins, injustices, and defeats. "God makes all things work together for the good of those who love God" (Rm 8:28).

Joseph's brothers decided to murder him. Then they changed their plans from murdering him to starving him and finally to selling him into slavery. The brothers agreed to lie to their father about Joseph's death and thereby broke their father's heart. This was a gross evil. The Lord turned this to the good by raising up Joseph into one of the most powerful people of the world. He saved the lives of countless thousands of people (including his own family) from starvation. Ironically, Joseph, who was almost left to starve to death, saved many countries from starving to death.

The worst evil ever perpetrated and the focal point of every sin that has ever or will ever be committed is Jesus' Passion and death. The Lord took this absolute worst to bring about the ultimate best — the salvation of the whole world.

If you are in the worst of times, there may be reason for you to be even more hopeful. "Rejoice in hope" (Rm 12:12).

Prayer:  Father, this Lent may hope well up inside me as never before.

Promise:  "The king sent and released him, the ruler of peoples set him free. He made him lord of his house and ruler of all his possessions." —Ps 105:20-21

Praise:  Ron, a U.S. Senator, leads the Congressional fight against abortion and takes the time to teach the Catholic faith to his children.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard Walling, July 18, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 24, 2003