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Tuesday, January 18, 2005

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Hebrews 6:10-20
Psalm 111
Mark 2:23-28

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home stretch

"Do not grow lazy, but imitate those who, through faith and patience, are inheriting the promises." —Hebrews 6:12

When we give our lives to Jesus and receive the Holy Spirit, we begin to run the race of the Christian life with zeal and enthusiasm (Heb 12:1). As we run on, we may grow lazy and lose some of that vigor. "Let us not grow weary of doing good" (Gal 6:9; see also 2 Thes 3:13). The Lord wants us to keep up our steady pace and even have an extra kick going home across the finish line. "Our desire is that each of you show the same zeal to the end, fully assured of that for which you hope" (Heb 6:11).

This is a matter of faith and patience. By faith, we run on even when we don't see the victory, because we know the Victor, Jesus. By patience (long-suffering), we bear our "share of the hardship which the gospel entails" (2 Tm 1:8). As we get older, we don't want to see ourselves slowing down spiritually. "I do not run like a man who loses sight of the finish line" (1 Cor 9:26). We're not "out to pasture," but we're running down the homestretch. We want to die lunging across the finish line and having spent our all for Jesus.

"In that case, run so as to win!" (1 Cor 9:24) At the end we want to say, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith" (2 Tm 4:7).

Prayer:  Lord, You lunged across the finish line on Calvary after the way of the cross. May I follow in Your footsteps.

Promise:  "That is why the Son of Man is Lord even of the sabbath." —Mk 2:28

Praise:  Before starting his business Joseph got rid of his credit cards, wanting only his Lord as his partner.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard Walling, July 7, 2004

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 19, 2004