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Tuesday, February 8, 2005

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St. Jerome Emiliani

Genesis 1:20—2:4
Psalm 8
Mark 7:1-13

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the good news

"God created man in His image." —Genesis 1:27

God created the light and saw that it was "good" (Gn 1:4). He created dry land and sea and termed that "good" (Gn 1:10). Likewise, the plants, sun, stars, and animals were all "good" (Gn 1:12, 18, 21, 25). When God created man and woman, "He found it very good" (Gn 1:31). God obviously takes great delight in people, and considers them the crown of His creation.

The man and woman could eat from any fruit tree "except the tree of knowledge of good and bad" (Gn 2:17). Before man and woman knew what was good, they simply were "very good." To the core of their being, they were pure and good. "The man and his wife were both naked, yet they felt no shame" (Gn 2:25). What a good, holy innocence!

Then the man and woman preferred to know what was good rather than to be good. So they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and bad (Gn 3:6). Sadly, now that they knew what was good, they lost God's grace and power to be good. Before long, man fell so far from his original good nature that he no longer could distinguish good from evil, and even could "call evil good, and good evil" (Is 5:20). This warped sense of what is good continues to the present day.

Thus, "Jesus appeared in Galilee proclaiming the good news of God" (Mk 1:14). God created man originally; Jesus re-created man (2 Cor 5:17). Now, in Jesus, we can know what is good (1 Cor 2:16). In the Holy Spirit, we can be good (Gal 5:16ff). Make a good decision today. Accept Jesus as Lord of your life.

Prayer:  Father, on this last day before Lent, I repent of my sins. "Have mercy on me, O God, in Your goodness" (Ps 51:3).

Promise:  "God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all the work He had done." —Gn 2:3

Praise:  Once careless, irreligious, and violent, St. Jerome became more than a conqueror through the power of Jesus Christ (Rm 8:37).

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

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Giles H. Pater, August 18 8, 2004

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 23, 2004