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Sunday, July 24, 2005

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17th Sunday Ordinary Time

1 Kings 3:5, 7-12
Romans 8:28-30
Psalm 119:57, 72, 76-77, 127-130
Matthew 13:44-52

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bad to good, or bad to worse?

"We know that God makes all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His decree." —Romans 8:28

The Lord, in His perfect love and power, works even bad things to the good for those who love Him. He wants us to be not only the recipients of this miracle but also His helpers in working bad into good.

We can learn our part in the miracle of working bad into good by imitating Joseph in the book of Genesis. After Joseph's brothers tried to kill him, they sold him into slavery, then lied to their father and broke his heart. The Lord turned this great evil to the good by giving Joseph exceptional gifts and making him one of the most important people in the world, the administrator of a stockpile of food during a severe famine. The Lord took the sins of Joseph's brothers and saved hundreds of thousands of people from starvation. Joseph participated in this miracle by obeying the Lord, especially in forgiving his brothers (see Gn 45:5).

The worst evil ever perpetrated is the murder of God on Calvary by sinners. The worst evil was turned to the greatest good, the forgiveness of all sins and the salvation of the whole world. Jesus did this miracle by obeying His Father's will, especially by forgiving us who caused His death by our sins (see Lk 23:34).

Therefore, let us be part of the miracle of turning bad into good by our obedient forgiveness. Otherwise, bad will get worse and continue in a descending spiral of evil.

Prayer:  Father, free me from making matters worse.

Promise:  "The reign of God is like a buried treasure which a man found in a field." —Mt 13:44

Praise:  Praise Jesus, obedient, forgiving, and risen Savior!

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on Forgiveness on audio AV 54-1 or video V-54.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 20, 2004

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