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Thursday, June 17, 2004

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Sirach 48:1-14
Psalm 97
Matthew 6:7-15

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winning ways

"How awesome are you, Elijah! Whose glory is equal to yours?" —Sirach 48:4

For about ten days, the Church has been reading to us about Elijah. Today we conclude this series. Before we move on, we need to be sure that we receive the message exemplified by Elijah. Elijah successfully brought down the culture of death led by Ahab and Jezebel. We have a similar mission: to bring down secular humanism's culture of death in the Western world.

Elijah's success was based on prophecy, listening to God's whisper (1 Kgs 19:12ff), and discipleship. These three essential dynamics of life in Christ are critical for the modern Church to operate in power. Most Christians are unaware that they have been baptized into Christ, the Prophet. They have not obeyed the Lord's command to seek the gift of prophecy more than any other spiritual gifts (1 Cor 14:1). Secondly, listening to God's whispers in solitude and silence is a rarity in our media-driven culture of noise. Finally, few Christians have their primary identity as disciples of Christ. Thus, they are in no position to make disciples of all nations (Mt 28:19).

When we learn Elijah's lessons, we will see Elijah's victory over our culture of death. Be another Elijah as were Jesus and John the Baptizer (see Lk 1:17).

Prayer:  Father, send the Holy Spirit to teach me how to apply Jesus' definitive victory over the evil one.

Promise:  "Forgive us the wrong we have done as we forgive those who wrong us." —Mt 6:12

Praise:  Thomas and Regina have committed to a weekly hour of adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament to listen to God's whispering in discipling their children.

Reference:  (Presentation Ministries offers discipleship retreats from June 25 through July 25, 2004. Accept the challenge to move into a new "zone" as Jesus' disciple by attending a retreat this summer. For information or to register, call 937-587-5464 or e-mail  retreats@presentationministries.com)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert A. Stricker, December 13, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 18, 2003